After two days of evidence into his father’s death, Andrew Hyslop was “elated” at the coroner’s findings after his frail dad ended up in hospital emaciated, dehydrated and malnourished.
Mr Hyslop junior, his father’s only son, asked questions of the witnesses – those who had been responsible for his ailing father’s care – at the Nottingham inquest as they appeared on a live link to the Council House.
And yesterday, Thursday (September 30) Andrew Hyslop got the answers he had fought for on his father Murray Hyslop’s behalf after the inquiry saw assistant coroner Gordon Clow raise a series of concerns.
Concerns included: prevention of pressure damage “there was a lack of appreciation of the need to consider Mr Hyslop’s extreme vulnerability to pressure damage when he was very unwell, dehydrated, malnourished and largely immobile”, said Mr Clow.
And “identifying a resident in need of medical attention” and “learning from adverse events” were other concerns he raised.
The coroner, who gave a narrative conclusion, issued a prevention of future deaths report to My The Orchards Ltd, a company Willow Tree House care home, Mansfield, is part of.
Mr Hyslop senior was 82 when he died at King’s Mill Hospital, Mansfield Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield, from pneumonia (1a) undiagnosed Ischaemic heart disease (1b) on January 16, 2021.
Murray Hyslop had suffered from Covid-19 earlier in December 2020, as did all but one resident at Willow Tree House, and they were isolating in their rooms. He began to deteriorate significantly in the days leading up to December 23, 2020, but his deterioration went unnoticed.
Mr Clow detailed from December 16 to December 23, Murray Hyslop’s fluid and food intake. During this whole period, the most Murray Hyslop drank was half of his target daily fluids.
Mr Clow said: “From 20th December, 2020, onwards, Mr Hyslop drank even less and, on some days, almost nothing at all. As a consequence, he became dehydrated and malnourished, exacerbating his physical condition and resulting in acute kidney injury (where the kidneys suddenly stop working properly)”.
Murray Hyslop was admitted to hospital on Christmas Eve and received active treatment but he did not recover and he died from natural disease.
Mr Clow said: “It is not necessary for me to document in detail the very difficult days following Mr Hyslop’s admission to hospital on 24th December 2020. There were points at which Mr Hyslop rallied and responded to treatment. His pressure damage was successfully treated and there were other markers of improvement, but his overall physiological reserve was such that he was not able to survive despite active treatment.”
Andrew Hyslop, a 57-year-old retired police Inspector for Nottinghamshire Police, said after the inquest conclusion: “My true reaction is elation. It has been acknowledged my dad was not properly looked after.
“I fully appreciated what the coroner said about whether dad would have survived if he got medical intervention earlier.
“I’m delighted the prevention of future deaths report will provide the onus to prevent further deaths taking place”.
His dad retired at the age of 64 after a long career, mainly as a joiner, which started with a seven-year apprenticeship when he left home in Scotland. He worked in Jersey, met his wife, Sheila, now 80, and he later became a contract manager for Loach construction, Colwick.
He began going to the home for day care. Sheila was on dialysis three days a week. Murray Hyslop, who had Parkinson’s Disease, began falling over in the night and he took the decision to move into Willow Tree full-time.
“He was a family-orientated person,” said his son. “He was dedicated to his family. Loved for family to visit. It must have been tragic for him because he could not see family as often as we liked.
“He liked walking. He was part of a local rambling club and enjoyed gardening. Parkinson’s took its toll.”
Sheila Hyslop said, “Murray was a wonderful husband” who she misses so much.
“Failings in his care have finally been recognised and he can now rest in peace.”
Now Andrew Hyslop plans to update the Care Quality Commission on the outcome of the inquest, and has a complaint running with the local Government and Social Care ombudsman over the investigation by the home into his father’s care.
The CQC carried out an inspection on the back of complaints from Andrew Hyslop and other persons with relatives at Willow Tree House and the home was rated as “inadequate” following an inspection of the home in January 2021.
A subsequent inspection took place in June 2021 and this resulted in an overall rating of “requires improvement” but with safety still rated as “inadequate”, the inquest heard.
Andrew Hyslop made a complaint on his father’s behalf regarding the care afforded to his dad, who had lived in Mansfield Woodhouse before going into the home.
An investigation was carried out by the Local Authority into the events leading up to Mr Hyslop’s admission and the Local Authority made a finding that the allegation of neglect was fully substantiated.
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