More UK healthcare horror stories show future under Obamacare

March 29, 2010 06:00

Dying hospital patient phoned switchboard begging for a drink after nurses said No

Liz Hull via MAIL Online

A patient desperate for a drink of water had to telephone the switchboard of the hospital he was being treated in to beg to see a doctor.

Derek Sauter, 60, used his mobile phone to request medical attention after his pleas for help were ignored.

But when the doctor arrived he was turned away by ward nurse Caroline Lowe, who said Mr Sauter was ‘over-reacting’ and threatened to confiscate his phone.

Derek Sauter on holiday with his wife Susan Family man: Derek Sauter on holiday with his wife Susan – their daughter Ruth said she was appalled at the way he was treated

Eight hours later the grandfather-of-three, who was suffering with a chest infection, was dead.

Rather than offering sympathy to Susan, Mr Sauter’s wife of 41 years, Miss Lowe later told her that he could have been prosecuted for harassing the doctor on call.

Yesterday his daughter, Ruth Sauter, 42, said she was appalled at the way her father, a former administrator for the Healthcare Commission, the former NHS watchdog, had been let down by the NHS.

Caroline LoweSacked: Caroline Lowe, the ward nurse, turned the doctor away who came to see Mr Sauter

‘My father went into hospital for a routine chest infection, but never came out,’ said Miss Sauter, of Thurrock, Essex.

‘His condition was not life threatening and the nurses had specific instructions to keep close tabs on him.

‘But their appalling lack of care, and cruel behaviour killed my father. He should not have died that weekend; it was not his time.

‘It’s so much worse knowing that he died alone, thirsty and scared on that ward.’

Mr Sauter was admitted to Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, in Kent, at 9am on June 27 2008.

He was admitted to a ward and given intravenous antibiotics and oxygen, but at 8.30pm he telephoned Mrs Sauter, a midwife, in distress claiming nurses were refusing to give him any water because he had accidentally knocked over the first cup he had been given.

A note scrawled by Mr Sauter and discovered by his family after his death said: ‘Asked for a jug of water at 6pm and again at 8.30, told to wait for handover. Said I knocked cup of water on floor.’


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