Hospital meeting called with widower after retired midwife died following hip operation

Doris Ison, of Hemel Hempstead, died after an operation for a fractured hip after her wound became infected.
Doris Ison, of Hemel Hempstead, died after an operation for a fractured hip after her wound became infected.

The grieving widower of a midwife who delivered hundreds of babies in the borough has pointed the finger at hospital doctors after his wife’s death.

Arthur Ison says 86-year-old Doris, who dedicated years of her life to the National Health Service, deserved better care. She died after a wound from a hip fracture operation became infected.

Mr Ison, of Widmore Drive, Hemel Hempstead, believes Doris’ wound was already infected when she was discharged from Watford General Hospital because the following evening she was whisked back in for surgery to clean the pus filled area and just two days later she was dead.

The 85 year old said: “She must have been discharged with pus in the wound. All that pus could not possibly have formed in 24 hours.

“I think it is disgraceful. She gave her whole life to this district - delivered hundreds of babies - and in return that is what she got.

“I think she should have had better treatment and I don’t think she should have been discharged.

“I think they wanted the bed and they didn’t bother to check.

“Instead of discharging her, if they had opened the wound up and cleaned it she might still be here.

“I know it is too late to bring back my wife but this could help some other poor soul.”

West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust medical director Dr Mike Van Der Watt said: “I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to Mr Ison for the sad loss of his wife, Doris. Our thoughts are with him and his family during what will undoubtedly be an upsetting time.

“I was concerned to hear that Mr Ison is unhappy with the care we provided to his wife and we have offered to meet with him so that we can better understand and, in turn, investigate his concerns.

“As a trust, we are committed to providing our patients with the best possible care, which includes ensuring they are not discharged from hospital until they are clinically fit to leave. I hope we will be able to address Mr Ison’s concerns with regards to his wife’s discharge when we meet.”

Earlier this month the Gazette reported that Watford General Hospital had been flagged up as a ‘consistent cause for concern’ for the number of hip fracture patients who died within 30 days of being admitted. Hospital chiefs said measures had been introduced to address the increased mortality rate.