Son blasts hospitals after dad, 85, died after being sent home with broken ribs
8th December 2018

An anguished son is demanding answers over his elderly dad’s death after a scandal-hit A&E failed to spot three broken ribs and sent him home.

He also wants to know why a second hospital decided against draining fluid found on William Driver’s lungs.

The great-grandad, 85, was injured in a fall and admitted that day to North Middlesex Hospital, North London.

He had a chest X-ray and CT scan but son Brett says a doctor there wrongly told him that these showed no fractures.

The widower was discharged next day but within 24 hours his condition worsened and he was rushed to Whittington Hospital five miles away.

An X-ray revealed the broken ribs and he was also found to have fluid on his lungs – but this was not drained and his family say he was not given antibiotics for 12 hours.

The retired milkman and antiques dealer was admitted to a ward – but by the next day he had developed pneumonia and within another day he was dead.

Brett, 48, hit out at both hospitals over what he believes were missed opportunities to save his dad.

"I feel like they’ve killed him,” he said.

“Everyone knows that an elderly person with broken ribs is at risk of developing pneumonia. My father should have been kept in hospital and given drugs to prevent pneumonia but he was just sent home and told to take paracetamol for the pain.

“I want to know who examined the scans. It’s a simple question but they haven’t been able to answer it.

“And at the Whittington’s A&E they got ready to drain his lungs then suddenly they didn’t do it. I feel they saw my dad as an old man and just gave up on him.”

Brett, of Tottenham, North London, added: “I’m not going to stop until I get justice for him.” The Sunday People has been exposing care failings at the North Middlesex since we revealed in 2016 how A&E patients were told on the Tannoy: “If you’re not dying, go home.”

Our string of shocking stories helped to spark an emergency inspection of the hospital’s A&E by the Care Quality Commission in 2016.

This rated the service there as inadequate. Its latest inspection, published this autumn, found that it still “requires improvement”.

Both hospitals offered their “sincere condolences” to Mr Driver’s family and said they are currently conducting full investigations into all aspects of his case.

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