A health ombudsman has ruled that a Hemsworth great-grandmother who died after an illegally sold cigarette filter got lodged in her throat was failed by Pontefract Hospital.
Alice Davies, 83, of Highfield Place, used the plastic filter on the end of the cigarette to reduce the amount of tar she ingested but she coughed while using the device and it became detached and got lodged in her throat. She died following complications in Dewsbury Hospital on March 1, 2011.
Her family complained to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman as she was sent home by the A&E department at Pontefract Hospital on two occasions before later being admitted for treatment at Dewsbury Hospital.
The ombudsman upheld the complaint about Mrs Davies’ care and treatment but ruled that Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s handling of the family’s complaint was not unsatisfactory.
The full report said the trust must apologise to the family for its failings and put procedures in place to ensure it did not happen again. The ombudsman also awarded undisclosed damages.
Mrs Davies’ daughter Jean Haywood, of Woodland Crescent, Hemsworth, said the whole family was delighted.
She said: “I just hope nobody else has to go through what we have. It has been a horrendous three years.”
Dr Ian Wilson, deputy medical director at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Mrs Davies’ family for their sad loss.
“We take very seriously the need not only to provide the best patient care but also to earn and keep the confidence of patients and our local community.
“The trust has met with Mrs Davies’ family and written to them to apologise for failings in care.
“The trust has accepted the conclusions of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and is committed to complying with its recommendations.”