Complaint over mum's hospital care

By Danielle NuttallA GRIEVING daughter is demanding answers from a hospital into the care of her elderly mother who died weeks after contracting a hospital superbug.

By Danielle Nuttall

A GRIEVING daughter is demanding answers from a hospital into the care of her elderly mother who died weeks after contracting a hospital superbug.

Annie Davies, 81, from Ipswich, was admitted to the town's hospital after suffering a heart attack in February this year.

After several weeks of treatment, tests shows Mrs Davies had contracted the Clostridium Difficile (C Diff) infection - a hospital super bug that causes acute diarrhoea and stomach cramps - and she died on May 10.


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The pensioner's death certificate recorded the cause of death as heart disease and pneumonia, but her daughter, Hazel Pettifor, claimed the C Diff led to a severe deterioration of her mother's condition.

The university lecturer, of Borrowdale Avenue, Ipswich, has now written a letter to the hospital's acting chief executive, Chris Dooley, about its standards of cleanliness and asking why her mother was not apparently immediately isolated from other patients.

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"When we heard she had it, we actually felt relieved it was not MRSA. But it's life-threatening for elderly people and we were so shocked they appeared to have not done anything to isolate," she said.

"I spent so many hours at her bedside in the hospital and some things you cannot forget. I had to have those questions answered. Really I would say with my elderly father, I would think twice about him going into hospital."

Mrs Pettifor, 40, who is a senior lecturer at Anglia Polytechnic University in Chelmsford, claimed her mother had been placed on a busy medical admissions ward for a week and later moved to another open ward, despite having C Diff.

"There is no doubt in our minds that her health seriously deteriorated after she contracted the infection. People have a right to know what these rates are at the hospital and what the danger is and how it is recorded," she said.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said: "We take these concerns very seriously indeed and an immediate investigation was launched when the letter of complaint was received by us.

"A very thorough and careful investigation looking into all of the issues raised is taking place and we will be getting in touch with Mrs Pettifor as soon as the investigation has been concluded."

danielle.nuttall@eadt.co.uk

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