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Hospital neglect led to my wife's death

PUBLISHED: 09:51 05 November 2009 | UPDATED: 17:19 25 August 2010

HEARTACHE: Sid Lambert, 79, with a picture of himself and his wife Maureen on their wedding day.

HEARTACHE: Sid Lambert, 79, with a picture of himself and his wife Maureen on their wedding day.

A WIDOWER for the second time says he would not be on his own if his wife had not been sent home from A&E to die from a bleeding ulcer.

A WIDOWER for the second time says he would not be on his own if his wife had not been sent home from A&E to die from a bleeding ulcer.

Maureen Lambert, 73, of Parkhill Road, Bexley, never regained conscious after suffering massive blood loss from a leg ulcer at her home.

The great-grandmother died just five days after she went to A&E Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup (QMS), where she was suffering the same problem.

But, after arriving by ambulance on September 2 at approximately 8pm, she was sent home at 3am.

Just two days later, she started bleeding heavily again from the same ulcer. It was so heavy that she was slipping out of consciousness.

After waiting 20 minutes, her husband had to ring the ambulance again but - by the time paramedics arrived - she was unconscious lying on the floor in the hall, covered in blood.

She was taken again to A&E at QMS but, after being seen by a doctor, her husband was told that they didn't have any beds throughout the whole Trust and so she would have to go to Mayday Hospital in Croydon, where she died two days later.

Her husband Sid Lambert, 79, said: "I can't understand how anybody would do something as stupid as sending her home.

"I 100 per cent believe she would still be here if she had not been sent home.

"I offered to pay QMS to let her stay the second time and staff told me, even with £1 million they wouldn't have enough beds, even at Bromley or Woolwich."

She was taken by ambulance at 1am to the Croydon hospital more than 16 miles away.

Mr Lambert, who could not fit in the ambulance, said: "We had the shock of our lives. She was wired up and we couldn't believe that this was happening.

"Staff at the hospital told us they had never had someone die there from an ulcerated leg."

On his wife's death certificate, the cause of death is listed as multi-organ failure and secondary cause was sepsis ischemic (restriction in blood supply and poisoning) and chronic venous ulceration.

Mr Lambert, who used to own the Scotch Pantry in Broadway in Bexleyheath before he retired at the age of 50 following a leg amputation, added: "Before she went into hospital, she saw a vascular surgeon at Lewisham Hospital, who talked about doing an amputation.

"Why he didn't keep her in, I don't know. It is unbelievable, 100 per cent neglect - no question about it.

"The whole thing is crazy.

"She was great. She was full of life and personality. She was easy going and took everything in its course. She hardly ever moaned about much at all and was a happy person."

A spokesperson for South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT) said: "SLHT can confirm that it has received a formal complaint from Mr Lambert regarding his wife's treatment at Queen Mary's Sidcup in September 2009. The Trust is investigating the issues raised in the complaint and will be responding to Mr Lambert directly." A WIDOWER for the second time says he would not be on his own if his wife had not been sent home from A&E to die from a bleeding ulcer.

Maureen Lambert, 73, of Parkhill Road, Bexley, never regained conscious after suffering massive blood loss from a leg ulcer at her home.

The great-grandmother died just five days after she went to A&E Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup (QMS), where she was suffering the same problem.

But, after arriving by ambulance on September 2 at approximately 8pm, she was sent home at 3am.

Just two days later, she started bleeding heavily again from the same ulcer. It was so heavy that she was slipping out of consciousness.

After waiting 20 minutes, her husband had to ring the ambulance again but - by the time paramedics arrived - she was unconscious lying on the floor in the hall, covered in blood.

She was taken again to A&E at QMS but, after being seen by a doctor, her husband was told that they didn't have any beds throughout the whole Trust and so she would have to go to Mayday Hospital in Croydon, where she died two days later.

Her husband Sid Lambert, 79, said: "I can't understand how anybody would do something as stupid as sending her home.

"I 100 per cent believe she would still be here if she had not been sent home.

"I offered to pay QMS to let her stay the second time and staff told me, even with £1 million they wouldn't have enough beds, even at Bromley or Woolwich."

She was taken by ambulance at 1am to the Croydon hospital more than 16 miles away.

Mr Lambert, who could not fit in the ambulance, said: "We had the shock of our lives. She was wired up and we couldn't believe that this was happening.

"Staff at the hospital told us they had never had someone die there from an ulcerated leg."

On his wife's death certificate, the cause of death is listed as multi-organ failure and secondary cause was sepsis ischemic (restriction in blood supply and poisoning) and chronic venous ulceration.

Mr Lambert, who used to own the Scotch Pantry in Broadway in Bexleyheath before he retired at the age of 50 following a leg amputation, added: "Before she went into hospital, she saw a vascular surgeon at Lewisham Hospital, who talked about doing an amputation.

"Why he didn't keep her in, I don't know. It is unbelievable, 100 per cent neglect - no question about it.

"The whole thing is crazy.

"She was great. She was full of life and personality. She was easy going and took everything in its course. She hardly ever moaned about much at all and was a happy person."

A spokesperson for South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT) said: "SLHT can confirm that it has received a formal complaint from Mr Lambert regarding his wife's treatment at Queen Mary's Sidcup in September 2009. The Trust is investigating the issues raised in the complaint and will be responding to Mr Lambert directly.

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