Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry Hospital 'sent home' MP's dying father

Toby Perkins
Image caption Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins discussed his father's death in a Parliamentary debate

An MP has told how his father "died in my arms" after being sent home due to a shortage of hospital beds.

Toby Perkins told a Commons debate on the NHS his father went to University Hospital Coventry in July 2016 suffering from "extreme pain".

He had symptoms of an aneurysm but was sent home after five hours in A&E, the Chesterfield MP said. His father died four days later.

The trust running the hospital said he should not have been discharged.

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Mr Perkins' father had suffered a near-fatal aneurysm three years earlier while on holiday in Germany.

He added he was "ashamed to say that I'm grateful" his father had the aneurysm abroad, as "the quality of the emergency care he received in Munich saved his life".

"I regret the same could not be said of our NHS," he added.

Mr Perkins told ministers the registrar who saw his father commented it had been a "non-stop afternoon" and asked his father whether he minded going home.

'Midst of a crisis'

"He said he had sent home five people who should have been in hospital because they were not enough beds.

"These pressures and these life and death decisions are not unique to that registrar, or to that hospital."

The NHS and social care is in the midst of a crisis that leaves the elderly and disabled isolated and struggling to cope, and "means people being sent home from A&E to die", Mr Perkins said.

Apologising for "distress caused", a spokesman for University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust said "although the inquest found [Mr Perkins' father] died of natural causes, we are clear that he should not have been discharged without a scan" for a suspected aneurysm.

Practice, he said, had changed so that scans for suspected aneurysms were standard.

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