Devastated family blame NHS after ‘lovely’ brother dies alone following operation

The devastated family of a man who tragically died just four days after an operation are demanding answers amid claims that he was failed by the NHS.

Colin Crawford had undergone surgery to remove a shard of glass from his right thigh after falling in the bathroom of his home.

The Bentilee man was discharged from the Royal Stoke University Hospital the following day on December 8, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.

However, within 96 hours he died while clutching his mobile phone after making a desperate call to 999.

Now, his grief-stricken relatives have hit out at the Royal Stoke and West Midlands Ambulance service after Colin’s death on December 11, 2021.

His sister, Diane Hurst, and niece, Samantha Evans, say he was allowed home too soon.

Diane, aged 54, from Tunstall, said: “I don’t think the care at the hospital was there after the operation. They gave him antibiotics but no blood thinners that would’ve stopped the clot from going into his lungs. It was wrong of them to send him home. He was only in the hospital for two days – it wasn’t long enough.

“On the morning of his death he rang 999 twice but the call was never traced. It’s so weird. It’s very upsetting because we are not getting the answers that we want and deserve.

“I fully believe the hospital and ambulance service are to blame – they should’ve come out quicker. The NHS failed him.”

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An inquest into Colin’s death found he died of natural causes due to a right leg injury. But Samantha also insists the hospital discharged her uncle ‘way too soon’.

The 25-year-old said: “The whole reason why he died was because he didn’t get blood thinners after his major operation. The hospital is saying that it’s not their fault when we believe it.

“Then there’s the 999 call. He was still alive at that point. That 999 call should’ve gone straight through. He should’ve felt safe ringing for help but by the end of it he didn’t. He died with no family with him – he didn’t have us or his girlfriend.

“The hospital is saying we have got to wait for a report. We want the hospital to admit where they went wrong because my uncle served a lot better. They’ve been releasing patients a lot sooner than they should. We are disappointed with everyone.”

Paying tribute to her uncle, Samantha, from Tunstall, added: “He was a very funny man and always laughing and joking. He had done well, he was an alcoholic and had gone sober. Since he stopped drinking he was the loveliest man you could ever meet.”

UHNM deputy chief nurse, Scott Malton said: “We would like to offer our sincere condolences to Mr Crawford’s family and friends and would encourage his family to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Team who can investigate any concerns they may have.”

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Every 999 call we receive is automatically recorded and electronically logged. Despite extensive searches, we have no record of a call being received to this address at the time stated.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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