Widow Complains Husband Was 'Starved' On NHS Ward

Widow Of A Man That Died At The University Hospital Of Wales Has Claimed Husband Was Starved By Staff

13.05.2014

The widow of a man that died at a Welsh NHS hospital has claimed he was starved to death.

Rosemary Ward claims that her husband Eric was given only half of the 1,964 calories that he needed in the run up to his death, meaning that his weight rapidly plummeted from 11 stone to six stone within a few months, reports the Daily Mail.

The father-of-five, 69, became so thin that his skin could be ripped open through very light force, including the ripping of plasters and bandages.

"He went in to that hospital a walking man of a healthy weight and came out a skeleton in a wheelchair," Mrs Ward explained.

"When he was discharged it was like bringing a dead body home, he was that frail and was just skin and bones. His legs were so thin."

Now, four years on from the man's death in June 2010, Mrs Ward will see her husband's case heard at the High Court.

Mr Ward was originally admitted to the University Hospital Of Wales, Cardiff, earlier in 2010 after suffering from severe abdominal pains linked to pancreatitis, but his widow claims he was not taken seriously and was repeatedly discharged by doctors.

A spokesperson for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board offered its "sincere sympathies" to Mr Ward's family and noted that it was "aware of the case".

However, the representative added that they could not comment further for legal reasons.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board also made headlines last month after a patient watchdog branded its out-of-hours care as "diabolical" and in need of "overhaul" when it was found that people had to wait too long before they were assessed, leading to inappropriate A&E attendances from members of the public.

The board has pledged to resolve these issues and aims to improve response times.

Expert Opinion
It is very worrying to see such concerns raised and it is vital that these issues are thoroughly investigated, with the ultimate aim of identifying any potential failings and ensuring that lessons can be learned where possible.

"Patient safety and welfare should always come first so it is incredibly important that steps are taken to provide reassurances that this is the case across the NHS."
Mandy Luckman, Partner