Allan Hawdon was on admission in Homerton Hospital, UK when he told nurses that he was going outside to make a phone call.
When his partner Susan Lyon, 68, arrived at the hospital 3 hours later, she found Mr Hawdon missing with his mobile still next to his bed. She frantically searched for him until she discovered a locked toilet door.
After receiving no reply from inside, she called over nurses who she said were 'reluctant' to force the door open but when they did, Mr Howdon was found slumped sideways on the toilet with blood all over him.
Mrs. Lyon said, 'The crash team came and they told me he was dead. The worst thing is he was in that toilet three hours and I have no idea if he suffered, if he called out for help. It's so heartbreaking. No one said what he had was life threatening.'
Mr Howdon had been on admission 5 days prior to his death after coughing up blood from a lung abscess
An internal report by Homerton Hospital did not find any issues with Mr Hawdon's care, but the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman have found loopholes in that report-- it was discovered that the patient had gone to the toilet three hours before he was found - and nurses did not search for the 60-year-old despite him being due medicine an hour before Ms Lyon arrived.
Retired lecturer Susan has been battling two years to get the hospital to admit its failings. She said: “I’m so angry because they didn’t care. I’ve been robbed of Allan and he’s been robbed of his future.”
A Homerton spokesman said: “In line with the Ombudsman’s recommendations, we drew up an action plan which focuses on improving the recognition of deteriorating patients.
“We now have a more sophisticated early warning system.”
Sad this happened before better safety methods were put in place; although no one is above making a mistake.