War hero died after choking on hospital food he wasn’t meant to eat
A war hero died after choking to death on hospital food he shouldn’t have been fed.
Roddy MacDonald was given goulash by staff at Glasgow’s Gartnavel Hospital when he should only have been fed soft, mashed up food.
The 84-year-old from Glasgow suffered with Parkinson’s disease, which caused him to have trouble chewing and swallowing.
The death certificate for the granddad confirmed the main cause of death in 2011 as “choked on food”.
His devastated son, Craig, has demanded an apology for the treatment his father endured in his final few days.
The 54-year-old said: “They treated my dad worse than an animal in the days before he died.
“Staff were given a diet sheet with instructions because of his Parkinson’s but gave him goulash and he choked to death.
“He was a great dad and brilliant granddad – my kids adored him – and they killed him.
“I will never forgive them for that.
“He was discarded like old rubbish by staff.
“The way he was being treated was horrendous.”
Roddy was being treated at the Gartnavel General Hospital for a urine infection when he died.
Police were called and an investigation was carried out which found failures at the hospital.
A report from an expert witness found there was a failure to monitor Roddy while he was eating and a mistake on his drug chart which specified the wrong dosage of a drug for his Parkinson’s.
In addition swallowing issues did not trigger referral to a speech therapist and a 10% drop in weight and an inaccurate BMI scare should have led to a dietetic referral.
Craig said: “They couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of even helping him to the toilet so they put pads on him.
“They put his colostomy bag on upside down and gave him 10 times the amount of drugs he was supposed to get for four days before noticing.
“He had also lost 10% of his body weight while he was there for 21 days for a urine infection. In the days before he died we were trying to get him out of there.
“My dad was a proud man who served in the army during the war but he was in tears because they had stripped him of his dignity and it was heart-breaking to see.
“He had family and his grandkids visiting him all the time. He had many good years ahead of him and it’s such a shame his life ended the way it did.
“It would have been easier to take if he had died of a heart attack but to think he was killed by the neglect of the people who were supposed to be caring for him is hard to take.”
In the wake of Roddy’s death, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) has been forced to introduce new policies and improvements as part of a Significant Incident Review.
Craig, whose mother Margaret died in 2012, took legal action against NHSGGC through Thompsons Solicitors and has just been granted £20,000 in compensation.
He said: “I would have been content with an apology and for the staff to be held accountable. No amount of money will bring my dad back.”
Now that the compensation claim has been resolved, NHSGGC has now offered to meet with Roddy’s family.
A spokeswoman said: “This is a tragic case and our sympathies remain with the family.
“We accept that there were failings in the care of Mr MacDonald.
“These were highlighted during our own Significant Incident Review process and a range of lessons were learned and improvements put in place.
“The circumstances of Mr MacDonald’s care were therefore fully investigated and our findings were shared with the Procurator Fiscal (PF).
“The PF was satisfied with the measures we had taken to address the issues identified in our investigation and as such the PF advised that they would not carry out a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI).”