Labour MP welcomes settlement for her father, who was amongst the 16 claimants

Dawn Butler the Labour MP for Brent Central has welcomed the settlement of a legal claim against a hospital which failed to care properly for her elderly father.

The case of 73-year-old Milo Butler was one of 16 claims pursued by the law firm Leigh Day, following allegations of poor care at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, Essex.

The legal cases against Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust, which is responsible for the hospital, are based on allegations of poor care between 2007 and 2013.

The allegations include poor provision of nutrition and fluid, patient falls, problems with pain management and pain relief, allegations of a failure to protect against infection, problems administering medication; and pressure sore management.

Mr Butler was 73 when he was admitted to the hospital in November 2010 having had slurred speech and a facial drop.

He was admitted into the hospital through A&E, and placed in a room which was described as unhygienic, with blood stained plasters on the floor and smelling of urine.

Whilst in the hospital Mr Butler contracted an infection in his eye. Staff were alleged to have failed to manage his pain, failed to manage his eye infection and failed to keep adequate records.

The claim alleged: Milo Butler  “a vulnerable elderly man, 73 years old was subject to avoidable and unnecessary pain and suffering. This was caused by the lack of a safe system of health care at the Hospital in breach of the Defendant’s duties of care…”

Dawn Butler MP, said:

“As a family, we were forced to take this legal action. It was the only way to get answers from the hospital. We found the complaints system at the Trust completely inadequate. It’s a sad fact that for many people taking legal action is the only way to make hospitals listen and learn from their mistakes. This is not how it should be.

 “On a personal level, I am committed to ensuring these systematic failings cannot happen again, not just at Queen’s hospital but also in those hospitals in my constituency and across the UK.

"This has been a very sad time for me and my family and if I can stop anyone having to suffer like we did then I will do all I can.

The Government must look again at the complaints system for patients. I will do everything in my power to make sure they do.”

"As a family we plan to set up a not for profit organisation to help budding musicians, any compensation will help to set up the My Inspiration Lives On (M.I.L.O) institute"

 Emma Jones, the lawyer at Leigh Day who represented the 16 victims and their families,  said: “These claims were based on fundamental issues relating to the care of patients. These include making sure there are enough competent staff to care for patients and that the trusts have systems in place to make sure people are given enough to eat and drink. The focus of those in charge at any Trust must be on patient safety, to ensure that sufficient numbers of trained staff are employed; that there is a safe system of healthcare at all NHS hospitals.

"Many of our clients came to us because, like Ms Butler, they had complained, but were not satisfied with the response.  Robert Francis identified issues within the complaints system from as early as his first report into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation (2010).

“We are pleased the Trust decided to sit down with us to discuss the issues we raised within the legal proceedings, has settled these claims and has assured us that it is now investing in recruitment of nurses.”

After a damning report into the Trust by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in December 2013 a new chief executive was appointed in April 2014.