Grieving daughter seeking answers after mum tests positive for covid in Milton Keynes Hospital and later dies

A grieving daughter is seeking answers after her elderly mum tested positive for Covid in Milton Keynes Hospital and later sadly died.

By David Tooley, local democracy reporter
Friday, 7th May 2021, 10:06 am
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 10:09 am

Dorothy Croston 85, of Milton Keynes, had been admitted to ward 18 on February 5 after falling over, and on February 17 she was judged medically fit for discharge.

She had tested negative, but there was an outbreak on the ward.

Her discharge, planned for February 19, was delayed until February 22 to allow for a package of care, which the family say was not essential.

Dorothy Croston

Dorothy had received her first dose of the vaccine but returned a positive test result on the day of discharge, February 22.

She was allowed home the next day to self isolate but was taken in to ward 19 by ambulance 24 hours later and she sadly died on March 5. Her death certificate recorded the primary cause as covid-19 infection.

“It would have been very simple to have saved her life,” said her daughter Janet who is so determined to get answers that she asked a question at a hospital board meeting on Thursday.

“I am hoping that the hospital will acknowledge that her life could have been saved if someone could just have told the family and got her out before the 22nd,” she said after the board meeting.

MK Hospital is compiling a report into the circumstances, and Janet is keen not to “scapegoat” staff at the very busy hospital.

The hospital declined to comment on the circumstances of Dorothy’s death.

In the meantime the hospital board has been told that there have been 235 recorded cases where patients have ‘probably or definitely’ acquired covid-19 whilst in the hospital, out of 1,385 cases recorded there.

A “number” of the 235 patients subsequently died but the hospital did not confirm how many.

Ms Croston asked hospital chief executive Professor Joe Harrison what they were doing to protect the vulnerable.

Prof Harrison said: “Despite us being able to follow all of the national guidance we do know that individual patients did catch covid in our hospital and for that we are very sorry, and I am very sorry.”

He said there is an investigation process in place for every patient under its “duty of candour”.

“We continue to learn and we know that nationally and locally we continue to look at what comes through as best practice,” he added.

“No ward was guaranteed to be free of covid because of the nature of the virus,” he added.

After the meeting a hospital spokesperson added that the hospital is in touch with the families, and is providing them with information about their loved ones final admission and the circumstances in which covid may have been acquired.

“It is not possible at this point to say how many of the patients who acquired covid in hospital died from it,” he said.

“Along with the rest of society, we have learnt more about the virus over time and the tools we have to counter it have developed.”