Much loved 97 year-old ‘died without dignity’

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An ‘angry’ relative has complained about the treatment of her late 97 year old aunt from Henfield by a West Sussex hospital in her final days.

Distraught niece, Anne Smith, lovingly described her aunt, Margaret Ena Vincent, as a ‘true lady’, but she claimed that Princess Royal Hospital showed the nonagenarian a ‘lack of courtesy’, which may have contributed to her ‘rapid deterioration’.

After suffering four falls in just three days, Mrs Vincent was transported to the hospital in Haywards Heath on November 28.

During her stay there, Mrs Smith noticed that her aunt’s dentures had been misplaced.

Mrs Smith recounted: “I examined the daily dental log and both top and bottom sets were noted for November 28 and 30.”

Even though the alarming discovery was reported to staff, the dentures were never recovered.

“Without the ability to chew her food there would have been a negative impact on her entire health.

“According to a member of staff at the hospital teeth go missing all the time.”

Mrs Smith also took issue with the service from South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) that transported her aunt from the hospital to Upper Mead Care Home in Henfield.

“When I saw her the next morning in the home she was exhausted.”

Shortly after arriving, Mrs Vincent complained of ‘feeling awful’ and was diagnosed with an infection that eventually prompted a cardiac arrest. A few days later on December 20 she passed away, just before Christmas.

“She was treated badly and I don’t think she’s been the only one.”

Mrs Smith has made a formal complaint to Sussex Royal Hospitals and has raised the case with MP Nick Herbert.




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