NEW LOW FOR SCANDAL-HIT HOSPITAL Cops called to ward after mum’s ‘weeks of neglect’
A PATIENT’S family called police to a scandal-hit hospital, accusing staff of “diabolical care”.
Mum-of-three Debbie Petinou, 59, had complained she was left in soiled clothes for three hours following “weeks of neglect” that left her with “horrific blisters” from sitting for so long.
One of her daughters – fed up after repeatedly begging nurses at North Middlesex Hospital to help her keep the 22-stone diabetic clean – snapped and rang police in despair.
A relative said: “You reach a point where you think nobody is doing anything and you have to involve someone else. Debbie’s daughters had made several complaints to the duty matron.
“The police have serious crimes to investigate but someone has to protect the vulnerable. They took the matter seriously and interviewed Debbie at the hospital. Half an hour after they were called, staff finally cleaned Debbie up. Her care has been diabolical.”
Scotland Yard confirmed an officer interviewed Debbie on August 21 but recorded no crime or immediate danger to her. Details were passed on to the local authority’s adult social care team.
The revelation comes days after a Care Quality Commission inspection found the hospital had lacked safety, effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership in failing to prevent a number of tragedies. Astonishingly it had scored “good” in caring.
Speaking from her hospital bed, Debbie said: “I got to the end of my tether. It wasn’t the first time I’d been left for hours.”
She was admitted in July over pressure in her eyes. The relative said Debbie’s daughters frequently had to clean her up after she developed a sickness and diarrhoea bug, claiming staff sometimes refused to help. She said: “One time they cleaned her and put her dirty bed clothes in the toilet to be taken away. They were still there 24 hours later.
“One of her daughters begged for more help – but a nurse put her hand up and told her to shut up.” The relative claims the nurse was disciplined, but allowed to remain on the ward.
was readmitted. The relative said: “We believe she was discharged too soon. She had two physio sessions and it wasn’t enough. Her legs were still inflamed and she’d been immobile for nearly a month.”
Debbie is now is expected to go home next week. A hospital spokesman said: “Senior nursing staff have met the patient and her family several times during her stay and all concerns raised were addressed at the time. The Trust can confirm no formal complaint was raised.”
A Met Police spokesman said: “Police received a call from a concerned resident regarding the care of a patient at a North London hospital on August 21. Officers attended. Following assessment, a referral has been made to Haringey and Enfield Adult Social Care.”
Last week the Sunday People revealed a catalogue of blunders at North Middlesex – nearly two years after it was ordered to improve. Among the failings were the deaths of three babies, a cancer patient being starved of oxygen and a child suffering brain damage.