Family shocked by mum’s night care
A TERMINALLY-ill grandmother s night-time nursing care axed by health chiefs because she was taking too long to die, her son claims, writes Lorraine King. Sean McGowan, of Landbsury Close, Neasden, claims NHS Brent told him they were stopping the ove
A TERMINALLY-ill grandmother's night-time nursing care axed by health chiefs because she was taking too long to die, her son claims, writes Lorraine King.
Sean McGowan, of Landbsury Close, Neasden, claims NHS Brent told him they were stopping the overnight palliative care for his mother Yvonne Hartman as she had exceeded the two-week limit in place.
Ms Hartman, of Newark Crescent, Harlesden, was diagnosed with secondary brain cancer in March this year and given six weeks to live.
Three weeks ago after medics told her family she had days to live the health trust appointed the nurses as part of their 'end of life strategy'.
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But, according to Mr McGowan, he was told last week that the care would be stopped.
He said: "A nurse told me the end-of-life package was for two weeks only and because my mother hadn't died during that time there would be no more nurses during the night.
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"It's disgraceful that they can treat people like this. It's bad enough that we are trying to come to terms with our mother being taken away from us but to have to deal with this too is just too much.
"I know she is just another number to them, but she is our mother and she deserves to be treated better. Someone is putting money before people's lives and this should not be allowed to happen."
Ms Hartman, 66, a mother-of-five and grandmother-of-nine, has been a familiar face around Harlesden for the past 30 years.
Mr McGowan said: "When she was told she was going to die she could have just given up, but my mother isn't like that she's a fighter. The fact she is still with us means the world to us.
"She should not be penalised because someone wants to save money. I just wonder how many other families are going through what we are going through but feel they have no one to turn to expose this."
When the Times contacted NHS Brent, a spokeswoman said there had been a breakdown in communication and Ms Hartman's care was not being axed.
She said: "Arrangements were already in place for Ms Hartman to continue receiving this service from NHS Brent, although her Marie Curie nursing service would be ending.
"It is very unfortunate that Mr McGowan received misleading information. We apologise for the understandable distress this may have caused. A representative from NHS Brent has spoken to Mr McGowan and reassured him that his mother's care will be continuing."
Mr McGowan said he believed NHS Brent had performed a U-turn, because the Times intervened.
He said: "How can they say there has been a breakdown of communication when I was told I needed to draw up a rota with my brothers on who should look after my mother during the night.
"I was clearly told the care was being stopped and it would have been if it wasn't for the Times.