‘Hospital failed to tell me of my mother’s death’

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A Jevington woman whose mother had been dead for a month before the family was informed by the Conquest Hospital is angry at what she described as an ‘appalling lack of decency’ shown.

Tamara McKinley, 65, said that her 85-year-old mother Remina Lee Ivory, had been admitted to the hospital in March with a perforated bowel.

She said that her half-brother Norman Ivory had received a phone call from the hospital telling him of his mother’s condition, though was later informed that his mother had insisted upon no contact with the family and they were not permitted to visit.

On Tuesday (April 30), when someone from the bereavement office called Mr Ivory and told him that his mother had died on March 30, it came as a shock.

The family now find themselves tasked with sorting out Mrs Ivory’s affairs.

Ms McKinley, an author who lives in Jevington, said, “We were not a close family, but we still should have been told.

“The hospital had my brother’s phone number.

“It is just shoddy, and a lack of courtesy and care on behalf of the hospital.”

A spokesperson at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said, “In this case the next of kin contacted the deceased’s solicitor who in turn made efforts to contact the deceased’s family but with no success and to no avail.

“As the solicitor to the deceased had no success with contacting the deceased’s family we were able to trace the son after making our own enquiries.”

Mrs Ivory, who was divorced, lived alone in Iden, where she kept a number of horses.

Ms McKinley said that she and her brother had been estranged from their mother, but had been concerned when they found out she had been admitted to hospital.

“The public should be aware that these things can slip through the net, and it can be very distressing.”

She said that she plans to make a formal complaint to the hospital.