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Sad death of postman Les
A LEDBURY pensioner who loved life was put on the Liverpool Care Pathway for end-of-life care without the consent of his family.
That is the claim being made by relatives of former Ledbury postman Les Mitton, who died on August 1 – shortly after his loved ones asked for him to be taken off the controversial Pathway, a process that in some cases restricts food and drink for sedated patients in their final days.
However, Wye Valley NHS Trust, said the family were kept fully informed of developments.
Mr Mitton’s step-daughter Shirley Bolger said: “He had a most horrendous death, and none of us had a clue that he was on the Pathway.
He seemed really hungry and really thirsty, but we didn’t make the connections.
“He was absolutely desperate and kept grabbing my hand, asking for a drink.
When I touched his lips with a sponge moistened with tea, he tried to eat it. He suffered terribly.
“All he wanted was to go was to go up to Birmingham and have his operation and get back to planting his daisies and geraniums. For a man of his age he was so fit.
This was an absolute waste of life.”
She said that Mr Mitton, aged 84, of Mabels Furlong, had a benign brain melanoma, adding he went into Hereford County Hospital believing he was waiting for a move to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital for a life-changing operation.
Instead, his family claim, he was put on the Liverpool Care Pathway.
“They (hospital staff) said they don’t really operate on people over 80-years-old,”
said Alison Turner, Les’ stepdaughter-in-law.
“They said ‘do you want to put him through that’. We said he has no chance of life without it.”
Mr Mitton’s funeral will take place at St Michael and All Angel’s Church, Ledbury, on Tuesday at 2pm.
In a response, the Wye Valley NHS Trust’s medical director, Peter Wilson, said: “Our medical and nursing staff worked to ensure that the patient’s next of kin were fully involved and updated on care and treatment all at times.
Following a significant deterioration in the patient’s condition, appropriate palliative care was provided after discussion and agreement with the next of kin.” The trust added the decision not to operate was taken by staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
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