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Lady Patient Died after Hospital Turned Inhospitable, Rules Sheriff

A case of hospital negligence stands substantiated in yesterday’s ruling by the Sheriff, confirming the inadequacy of appropriate treatment// measures to a lady patient who had suffered a large abscess. According to the sheriff’s ruling, the lady might have survived, had she been referred to a specialist. The hospital had failed in their duty to guide the patient properly.

A fatal accident inquiry has revealed that due to negligence of the staff at St John's Hospital in Livingston, Grace Foster 60, of Ratho, near Edinburgh, stood a good chance of recovery, had the hospital monitored her adequately. She had died a week after her discharge from this hospital.

The sheriff expressed that had her blood tests and results of other tests been appraised appropriately, she would have perhaps been advised a CT and referred to a specialist, instead of being sent home.

In the judgment, Mr Edington said: "Such treatment might then have produced a better outcome for Mrs. Foster, including the possibility of a full recovery."

Mrs. Foster's daughter, Catherine Laing, said "It was very harrowing for us all to see my mum in the condition she was left in the ward. We were all willing to do whatever we could to help her, and the entire family was devastated by her death. We just hope lessons are learned, and that no-one else will have to go through what we have gone through. Having sat through all 19 days of evidence during the fatal accident inquiry, the family is happy the Sheriff has come to a fair conclusion. He has pretty much reflected how we feel."

Dr Charles Swainson, the medical director of NHS Lothian, said: "We regret the death of Mrs. Foster and we are currently studying the sheriff's determination and reflecting on its contents."


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