THE FAMILY of a 95-year-old woman say they feared she would die as a result of the way she was treated as a patient at Dorset County Hospital .

Relatives of Evelyn Mockridge have voiced serious concerns over her treatment, both at the hospital and by Social Services, after she was admitted for treatment of abdominal pains.

Son Alan Mockridge said after a few days he was contacted by the Dorchester hospital to say his mother was ready to be returned home, despite concerns raised by friends about her condition.

Out of caution Mr Mockridge arranged for a respite stay for his mother at a care home but was then told by the hospital she was not ready to leave.

He was unable to visit regularly as he does not live locally but Mr Mockridge said he received regular reports from family and friends who were concerned about Mrs Mockridge’s deteriorating health.

He said: “What I was concerned about was my mum’s welfare, I really believe she could have died in the hospital the way she was treated.”

Mr Mockridge said one friend remonstrated with staff after a meal was placed on his mother’s table with no offer of assistance so that she could eat it.

Despite her condition apparently continuing to deteriorate, Mr Mockridge said he was surprised when he was then told she was ready to go home and he came down to help discharge her.

He said: “They were only interested in getting my mum out of the hospital because she was bed blocking.

“In the opinion of family and friends she was too ill to go home.”

Mr Mockridge, who has written to the hospital expressing his concerns, said he was also disappointed by with the response he got from Social Services when he contacted them to ask for an assessment.

Mrs Mockridge was one of 41 people wounded when a mine was landed by parachute in Chapelhay during the Second World War.

Her son said before her hospital stay she was independent and active and he was stunned by the way she was treated.

Mr Mockridge said: “It annoys me that they don’t appear to have any respect for people like my mum.”

He said thankfully her condition had improved since she has left hospital, thanks to the care she had been receiving at a local care home.

Mr Mockridge said: “She’s now at Weymouth Care Home and there has been a phenomenal improvement in the last month, she’s smiling again.

“Mum was hardly eating or drinking anything in hospital, I’m just so disappointed with the way she’s been treated.”

Investigations are underway

A spokesperson for Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust said: “We are saddened to hear of Mr Mockridge’s concerns regarding his mother’s care at the hospital.

“We are currently investigating the issues raised in Mr Mockridge’s letter and would also be happy to talk with him to discuss his concerns.”

A spokesperson for Dorset County Council said: “We take such allegations of failing standards of care very seriously and we have been in contact with Mr Mockridge on several occasions, but we are not able to comment on individual cases.

“Dorset County Council has a duty to carry out an assessment of care needs of any patients referred to them who appear to be in need of community care services, before they are discharged from hospital. “This involves considering the specific needs of an individual, their home circumstances and, where appropriate, the needs and views of carers, before arrangements are made for leaving hospital. “This assessment will frequently include assessment information from other members of the multidisciplinary team in the hospital.

“We recognise that responsive and co-ordinated services are important to people and will investigate this case further."