Call for more sensitivity for families after hospital death

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CALLS for better care for families who have lost a loved one have been made after a woman died in a Chichester hospital.

Penelope Schofield, senior coroner for West Sussex, made the comments following an inquest into the death of Lynda Beech, 62, who died in St Richard’s Hospital after she had a gastric bypass.

Ms Schofield said she accepted the hospital had done all it could but wanted staff to take on board comments about the level of care and communication families receive.

She said: ‘Sensitivity needs to be given to a family who have just lost a loved one.

‘There needs to be a private place they can go rather than them being left to face the public.’

Mrs Beech, of Gilbert Road, Chichester, was admitted to hospital on October 9 last year for weight-loss surgery. She died five days later after complications following the surgery caused multi-organ failure.

Mrs Beech’s daughter Donna Tompkins said: ‘She was my mum and I never I got to say goodbye. I was not given the chance to say goodbye to her.

‘The way we were treated was disgusting. We were chucked out of the intensive care unit after she died. We weren’t taken to a private room, we were just left.’

William Hawkins, a bariatric consultant surgeon, said Mrs Beech had been told about increased risks due to other conditions she had. At the inquest in Chichester, Ms Schofield returned a verdict of death caused by complications from elective surgery.