Resolution after three-year battle to hold hospital to account over botched op (From The Northern Echo)
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Woman's complaints upheld following her mother's death at Darlington Memorial Hospital
A DETERMINED woman who battled for three years for a hospital to take responsibility for her mother’s death has had her complaints upheld.
Carol Tipling, 63, wrote to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman following the death of her 88-year-old mother, Lily, at Darlington Memorial Hospital in April 2010.
She had been admittedfor a routine operation to fit an upgraded catheter but her bowel was perforated during the procedure.
Doctors failed to notice and she was sent home the same day, only to return to hospital hours later in severe pain.
Mrs Tipling died of blood poisoning shortly after an emergency operation and a coroner told an inquest the following year that the hospital should review its procedures.
Carol Tipling pursued the matter and was preparing to take her case to court, but last week the County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust agreed to settle and paid Mrs Tipling a five figure sum.
The Trust has also implemented a number of changes after the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman found in Mrs Tipling’s favour and agreed that the hospital’s procedures were not good enough.
Among her main complaints were that neither she nor her mother were adequately informed of the risks of the procedure, ultrasound was not used during the operation and her mother was discharged too soon.
Mrs Tipling, who lives in Middleton St George near Darlington, said she had endured “three years of hell” trying to hold the hospital to account but is relieved it is now all over.
She said: “I had to do it; it wouldn’t bring my mum back but I needed them to own up to what they had done, not necessarily monetarily, but to put things right so it didn’t happen again.
“Alright my mum was 88, but before that catheter she was well, we were going on holiday.
“If they had just explained the risks in the first place I would not have let her have it done.”
Mrs Tipling had the support of her local MP Phil Wilson and said she would not have been able to pursue her case without the valuable help of a neighbour.
A spokesman for the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said it extended its condolences to Mrs Tipling’s family.
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