King’s Lynn husband’s fears for ‘dangerously ill’ wife after allegedly taken off of insulin

Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn
Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn

A diabetic patient was not given her insulin medication for three days while in hospital, her husband has claimed.

Eileen Harrington, 89, of Lynn, was taken to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital towards the end of September after falling in her home, and was cared for over a number of days.

Robert Harrington alleges that, while his wife was in hospital, he received a phone call to tell him that she was no longer being given her insulin.

Mr Harrington said his wife, who has Alzheimer’s and dementia, was instead given tablets and was discharged from the hospital after two or three days off of insulin.

After she returned home, he tested her blood sugar levels that evening and the following day, and, each time, the results were high.

Mr Harrington said he phoned the hospital who suggested giving Mrs Harrington another tablet.

Hours later, he said she was very ill and had to be taken back to hospital.

“It was an absolutely terrible mess. She should never have been taken out of hospital,” Mr Harrington said.

Mrs Harrington has now been back at the QEH for five weeks now, he said.

“For two or three of those weeks, she was not speaking and she was asleep all the time.”

She opened her eyes for the first time on Wednesday, he said, and although she is now trying to speak, it is not possible to hear what she is saying.

“It breaks my heart every time I go there. They can’t get her out of bed, but before, she was able to go upstairs on her own.

“They have made a terrible mistake by not giving her insulin. She’s been on it for 42 years and never had this trouble before.”

Mr Harrington said he is intending to make an official complaint about the situation.

“I spoke to a specialist and he said I will do the best I can for her.

“But she’s had a terrible time, she’s dangerously ill. I’ve never seen anyone suffer like that in my life.”

A QEH representative has responded to the allegations and has said it will be investigated.

Associate director for patient experience Claire Roberts said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases. Our nursing and medical teams always strive to provide the highest standard of care for our patients.

“We will of course investigate the matter and would be happy to discuss this in detail with the family.”