New Member - NHS Complaint Re. Hospital Care

Hello all from a new member.

I’m not a carer currently, but had been to my late mother. I hope it’s OK to go straight in with an urgent question I have. I hope it can be answered by someone here.

I’ve complained to the NHS re. the care of my elderly mother while she was in hospital for an operation because while she was there she contracted cellulitis.

The question I have is this: I’ve been told that I cannot prove there was a lapse / failing in my mother’s care that caused her to contract the skin disease.

But surely the fact that she didn’t have it before she went into hospital, doesn’t that in itself imply a failing by the hospital? The NHS Trust denies there was a failing.

I’m not after financial compensation from the NHS. I do seek acknowledgement and an an apology at least particularly as she was discharged with the condition that required considerable after care for many weeks (another issue).

Thanks in advance.
Regards to all

Welcome Dan.

A hospital discharge complaint ?

I assume that you have followed the guidelines … CAB good on this issue :

Get advice about health services - Citizens Advice

As for the actual discharge , all procedures followed by the book ?

Being discharged from hospital - NHS

Let us know how matters progress … how the complaint is handled will be of interest to readers … given the sheer volume
of problems recorded on the forum relating to the meltdown in the NHS.

Glad you came to the site with an important question. No certain answer from me though! I suppose much would depend on whether the hospital had an unusual sub par record or outbreak of infection at that time. Also the time taken to recognise your late mum’s condition and her post-operation care and what the level of treatment/care was after the cellulitis was recognized. And the subsequent outcome.

Quite difficult to know the answers to those questions without inspecting care records or CQC audit findings (available online). The hospital is not going to be quick to admit any liability. Just because the infection happened doesn’t mean anything was done incorrectly.

Thats my nonmedical, non attorney opinion.

I had cellulitis after a knee operation in a private hospital when I was in my 50’s. A friend of mine, whose wife is a paramedic, developed it soon after having his hip done in a private hospital. He was discharged and readmitted within 48 hours, he was only in his 40’s.

It needs to be spotted and treated asap. I had two lots of antibiotics at the same time AND had to go to the hospital every day for a while, to have injections. It’s something that if you’ve had it once, you are likely to have it again. Even a mosquito bite can start it off again.

Two or three times when I’ve been on holiday in Crete I’ve been bitten and my leg felt different, as if it was cellulitis lurking again. Out there, they have some anti bite cream with an antibiotic or steroid, I’m not sure which, included in the mixture. Really effective.

Chris, Rosemary, bowlingbun, thanks for your replies. I’m currently checking through the protocols re. what the hospital should have done. Not sure where I’ll find information about the hospital’s record on infection control. They were not sure about what it was and the diagnoses changed a couple of times. Yes, I’m going through the medical records. I’ve found a CQC report too. I’ve heard mixed reports about the CQC and personally have been surprised at the glowing reports of establishments that have given me cause to complain. Yet the reports themselves seem very thorough and convincing…

I’ve been thinking of analogies re. the responsibility for contraction of a disease or other condition during a hospital stay. For instance, when I take my car in for a service, I don’t expect it to come out with scratches and covered in graffiti. If it does, the garage is to blame for lack of care. Likewise, if I rent a holiday home and something get’s broken, it is my responsibility i.e. the holiday home is not in the same condition as when I started the holiday. Why doesn’t the same contractural law apply to NHS care?


Very good point , Dan.

Customer care … drilled into all new employees in the business sector.

Unfortunately , OUR NHS is a monoploy … one major disadvantage … no competition.

Using your analogy , the only garage in town.

Having said that , and given the level of morale many are experiencing for themselves . a symptom of the
meltdown that will take more than container fulls of monies to halt , let alone solve.

What needs to change is the ethos … the customer should be put at the forefront … that , in itself , would be
a major change in working practices but … essential if our trust n OUR NHS is to be restored.