'An absolute disgrace': Heartbroken daughter claims hospital Covid ward was ‘deserted’ and did not see father before death

The daughter of a man who died in Rotherham Hospital has raised concerns about staffing on the covid ward, after she found the ward “deserted”, and did not see her father before his death.

Carina and James Wood.

James Wood, 74, who was from Sheffield but lived in Dinnington, was admitted to hospital on August 14 after suffering from a minor stroke.

After testing positive for Covid, he was moved to the B5 ward – where he sadly died on August 29.

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Carina Wood, Mr Wood’s daughter, raised a number of concerns about her father’s treatment, and says she feels “patients are stuck in the corner to die.”

Ms Wood says she was told by a nurse that her father’s CT scan and the chest X-ray were fine, and that he could expect to come home in the next few days.

However, when she was told he was “too ill to come home”, she was so concerned she decided to visit the hospital, where she was told that Mr Wood was refusing food and treatment.

During the bank holiday weekend, Ms Wood struggled to get through to the ward on the phone – only to be told by her father’s wife that he had died on the morning of the 29th.

Ms Wood travelled from her home in Buxton to see her father that day, only to find the ward deserted.

“I had to ring the buzzer six times, and eventually had to get a cleaner to let us on to the ward”, Ms Ward said.

“The hospital was deserted.”

Once Ms Wood had accesses the ward, she was told her father “kept taking his oxygen mask off during the night”.

“You’d have though they would have checked if he was comfortable,” she added.

“They should have contacted the family if his oxygen kept dropping.”

Ms Wood says she is concerned that the lack of staff when she visited meant her father had not been properly cared for during his stay, and was directed to the complaints department when she asked how many members of staff were working that weekend.

“I’m sure he died of neglect,” Ms Wood added.

“He had other complications, but was still doing things – he was still active.

“He was a joker, really funny and a big biker.”

Ms Wood is calling on the hospital to reinstate visiting for relatives, as she believes her father “gave up in the end”, despite frequent phone calls from the family.

“I’m extremely angry and don’t think I feel anything else. If they had the proper staff and someone taking notice of my father they could have found an alternative to a mask. Something should have been done, not just checked once an hour.

“The NHS is not a charity, it’s a paid for service, and people just expect rubbish treatment.

“I think it’s an absolute disgrace”.

Angela Wood, chief nurse, at the hospital said: “We take all concerns raised by patients and their families very seriously. We will thoroughly investigate Miss Wood’s concerns.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Miss Wood and her family at this sad time.”