Families unhappy with treatment of relatives at Whittington Hospital

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 July 2011

The Whittington Hospital

The Whittington Hospital


»The treatment of elderly patients at The Whittington Hospital has come under fire from a government health watchdog and grieving families.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has this week recommended The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust in Magdala Avenue, Archway, makes a number of improvements after carrying out of an inspection of how older people are treated with regards to dignity and nutrition.

The Gazette reported last week that the family of Michael Foley, 69, are unhappy with his spell at the hospital before he died.

Now two more cases have emerged where friends and loved ones officially complained.


A member of the House of Lords, Baroness Hussein-Ece, said her dad Hassan, 87, spent six weeks in the hospital before he died in 2007.

Baroness Hussein, who lives in Highbury, said: “My family and I watched in growing horror and sorrow as he deteriorated with terminal cancer, while he was neglected and treated with indifference, covered in painful bedsores.

“His final weeks at The Whittington still haunts my family.”

Relatives of Bill Harrington, 90, of Woodstock House, Highbury Grange, are also unhappy.

Mr Harrington, a Second World War veteran, had chronic lung disease and could barely stand when he was booked into The Whittingon’s accident and emergency department on February 13.

His daughter Christine claimed he was discharged from A & E after only one day. She alleges that he was pulled off a bed with a sheet by a nurse – and given a bin to help him stand.

He was sent back to the hospital on February 18 and died 10 days later.

Mrs Harrington alleged she was given no warning from medical staff that he was about to die.

She said: “Something has to be done with the way they treat the elderly. People deserve communication and care. Walking in and seeing my dad dead was a big shock.”

A spokesman for The Whittington Hospital said steps had been taken following the case involving Mr Hussein and that it was currently investigating the case of Mr Harrington.

She said: “Whittington Health works hard to ensure that older people using its services receive the very best care and welcomes the suggestions from the CQC for any improvements that can be made.

“The Trust has already taken action to provide assurance that the issues highlighted by the CQC are being addressed and will respond to the CQC within the required time scales with a full action plan.”

n See Letters on page 15

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