89-year-old was left in observation bay for days because no beds were available. Former pathologist discharged himself due to lack of care. Health secretary Andrew Lansley has told of his grief after his dying father was left in a hospital observation bay for several days because there were no beds available. Thomas Lansley, a distinguished NHS pathologist, died last year from cancer after spending the last six months of his life as an NHS patient. The health secretary, who was drawing up plans for NHS reforms at the time, said there were significant shortcomings in the way his father was treated especially during the final stages of the illness. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was planning NHS reforms while his father Thomas, who was suffering from cancer, was one of the organisation’s patients Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was planning NHS reforms while his father Thomas, who was suffering from cancer, was one of the organisation’s patients Highlighting a lack of co-ordination between the many doctors and departments, he said he had been unable to work out who was in charge of caring for his father. Writing in the health service journal he said: ‘Those six months leading up to his death were very difficult.
‘I may have been secretary of state at the time but I still had a Sunday evening where I was trying to find him in the hospital that he had been taken to by an ambulance, and that took me about an hour and a half. ‘He was still in the observation bay next to the Accident and Emergency department for three or four days because they had no bed where he could be transferred to. ‘It was difficult – I’m the secretary of state for goodness sake – trying to work out, at any given moment, who was in charge. ‘Was it the GP… or was it at that moment the oncologist, was it the palliative care consultant, was it the hospice?’ Last month at a conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the National Council for Palliative Care Mr Lansley talked about how his father, who was one of the first scientists to work for the NHS, had found life difficult as a patient. He said: ‘He was in an inpatient bed in a community hospital and he discharged himself, because he thought, ‘Nothing’s going on here’.’ However Mr Lansley said that things improved in the final stages of his father’s illness and that he eventually had a ‘good death.’ He said: ‘Things at the end did get joined up. ‘When we talk about what does a good death look like, I have had a chance to see it’. His comments come as a report into end-of-life care is due to be published next week. It is expected to advise that the £104 million currently spent on emergency hospital admissions should be redirected into care for the dying in their own homes. While most people say they would like to die on their own home, currently four out of five die in hospital. Thomas Lansley, who was 89 when he died last November, ran a pathology laboratory in London from 1955 to 1983.
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If not that the Health Secretary was allowing his father’s natural death to be used in a propaganda story to justify so many other abuses or shortfalls in the English system, the neglect in the system itself is unbelievable and when it affects even a pathology lab skillef medical person shocking to the extreme. England is really gone. Little wonder the issues with the English economy. This is what nepotism and lack of meritocracy does to a nation. Very chilling that it even affects the Health Secretary!?! Falling through the cracks personified . . .