The long-term life partner of a dying man was denied the chance to say good bye during his last hours after a hospital wrongly halted daily visits, an ombudsmans report found.
Mr Brian Boulton, 70, was admitted to hospital with a chest infection. It was later diagnosed as aspiration pneumonia caused by oesophageal cancer by the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport. The gents partner of 20 years, Celia Jones, was accused by hospital staff of giving Mr Boulton, a retired tailor, a larger dose of prescribed medication than was considered acceptable.
Despite no proof or admission from Ms Jones, 65, in relation to the hospitals staff accusations, she was still restricted to one-hour visits twice a week, meaning she was unable to be with Mr Boulton when he died on Sept 27th 2017.
The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales upheld a complaint about the “appalling” treatment given to Ms Jones stating that the visiting restrictions were imposed “without warning” and led to a “significant injustice”. The PSO also found no record of Ms Jones, a retired nurse, admitting that she gave the larger dose of medicine to her partner. In addition to the two complaints made by Ms Jones which were upheld, a further third complaint was also upheld by the ombudsman about the failure by Royal Gwent Hospital to detect Mr Boulton’s cancer before he died.
Ms Jones said: “I was hoping that I would feel better after the decision, but I have not had the time to grieve. Brian died suddenly and I was not there. That is the worst thing for me. I feel like I let him down. He rang me, telling me to get him out of there.” She is due to receive £2,750 in compensation from the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.
A spokesman said the hospital board was “very sorry” and that aspects of Mr Boulton’s care were below the “expected standard”.