Family’s anguish at Chichester woman’s death

The Howard Kidd Unit, Chichester.'''Picture by Louise Adams C131538-1 Chi Howard Kidd
The Howard Kidd Unit, Chichester.'''Picture by Louise Adams C131538-1 Chi Howard Kidd

A FAMILY has spoken of their devastation three years after a much-loved relative was given controversial end-of-life care.

Maureen Leaver, 83, from East Wittering, died at St Richard’s Hospital after a doctor said the Liverpool Care Pathway – which can include the withdrawal of treatment – would be the ‘best option’.

“We would never have consented to it,” said Dorothy Leaver, Mrs Leaver’s daughter-in-law at the inquest into her death at Ede’s House, Chichester.

“I wish we were listened to. I wish they talked to us more.”

The family’s heartache over Mrs Leaver’s end-of-life care was worsened after it was revealed there was a catalogue of failures in her care at The Harold Kidd Unit before being admitted to St Richard’s in a seriously ill condition.

Independent expert, Dr Martine Stoffels said Mrs Leaver had received ‘sub-optimum care’ during her time in the Harold Kidd Unit.

“There was no diagnosis of Mrs Leaver’s condition in the eight weeks,” she said. “There was no evidence of investigation. We don’t know what Mrs Leaver had.”

The Harold Kidd Unit is run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Mrs Leaver was admitted to the unit in Chichester, which cares for older people with mental health illnesses, in July, 2010.

The full story is in today’s Chichester Observer (Thursday, 28).