Published by BBC NEWS - 4th March 2024
  • Published
Martin WildImage source, Martin Wild

A 73-year-old patient has said he was neglected at an NHS hospital and left to cry for help in “excruciating pain” during an ordeal that lasted months.

Martin Wild was admitted to Salford Royal last year due to a spinal infection and claims he was denied pain relief and left lying in his own urine.

Consultant Glyn Smurthwaite said Martin was “the most neglected acute patient I have ever seen”.

The trust that runs the hospital has apologised for failings in his care.

Martin Wild

Image source, Martin Wild

Mr Wild came home from Salford Royal Hospital in January after an eight-month stay because of an infection following a private spinal operation.

He said he was forced to phone 999 from his hospital bed when first admitted to the acute medical ward in May 2023 after struggling to get staff to give him pain relief and his Parkinson’s medication.

“I was left on my own in excruciating pain, with little pain relief, and I was laying on this bed for over a week before I saw a consultant.”

Martin Wild

The 73-year-old said the first four months crushed his faith in the health service after his health severely deteriorated.

“The NHS is not the NHS that I thought it was going to be, I thought I’d be looked after by people who care for me”.

Mr Wild was discharged despite warning staff he was not well enough and no one could look after him at home, and ended up being readmitted days later via A&E.

He said his poor care continued during his second stay, and Mr Wild recalled that he was shaking so much in pain that he knocked bottles of urine on to his bed after they had been left on the table with his food.

Mr Wild was left lying in the urine-soaked sheets for hours before they were changed.

“I told my wife I can’t stand it anymore, I can’t stand this pain, constantly, on and on, and if I am going to die here in this hospital, let it be soon.”

‘Serious harm’

Mr Smurthwaite, a consultant anaesthetist, was called in by a colleague to assess Mr Wild after he was moved to a different ward in September.

“He was the most neglected patient I have ever seen in an acute setting in my 38 years in the medical profession,” he said.

The retired medic said it was clear Mr Wild had suffered as there was no consultant leading his care for months.

Salford Royal

An investigation by the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, found Martin’s care had caused him “serious harm”.

Staff had failed to identify concerns about his eating and drinking due to the inexperience of staff, the trust found.

Judith Adams, chief delivery officer for Northern Care Alliance, said change have been made to “learn from Mr Wild’s experience” to ensure that “every patient and their family receives appropriate and responsive care”.

Martin’s wife Lorraine, a former nurse, said the investigation failed to address complaints around a lack of consultant to care for him and over his failed discharge.

“Effectively at a senior level, they forgot about him,” Mr Smurthwaite said.

He added there was a failure of medical oversight and failure of junior medical staff to escalate his case.

Martin Wild

Image source, Martin Wild

Mr Wild’s poor care was the result of a “failed system”, he said, adding he was “absolutely not satisfied” that cases like his would not happen again.

“The NHS has been systematically underinvested in for 14 years, you generate a system that becomes unsafe, and those cracks in the system are so apparent.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said it was “sorry for what Mr Wild had to endure”, adding a £2.4 billion plan to boost the NHS workforce in the long-term had been announced by the government last year.

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