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Woman, 72, died at Mayo hospital after ‘failings in care’

The family of a 72-year-old woman who died 11 days after being admitted to Mayo University Hospital has said the health care system is a “shambles and a disgrace”.

The statement by the family of Ann Moyles, from Castlehill in Ballina, came as the hospital apologised to them in the High Court.

Ms Moyles died on 30 December 2017 having been admitted on 19 December, suffering from shortness of breath and weakness.

Lawyers for her family said it was their case that the way she was treated led directly to her death.

Ms Moyles was a mother of seven. Her son Tom alleged there were numerous failings in the care she received.

The court was told that he and the family were particularly upset that she spent 20 hours on a trolley in the emergency department due to a shortage of beds.

Hospital apologises for failings in care

In a statement, the family said that her son Anthony arrived in the hospital the next day to find her still on a trolley, in a shared cubicle, gasping for breath.

He was told there was no doctor available and the family say care only seemed to kick into place when he insisted a doctor be found.

The apology on behalf of Mayo University Hospital was read out in court as part of a settlement of the family’s action for damages against the HSE for negligence and breach of duty.

The hospital manager Catherine Donohue said they offered sincere and heartfelt apologies to the family for failings in care.

Ms Donohue said she appreciated this would not change the outcome for their mother and they were deeply sorry.

The court was told Ms Moyles was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and was intubated the day after she was admitted.

Senior Counsel Gerard Clarke said their expert would say she was extubated on 23 December but should have been reintubated due to her condition.

Health care service ‘a shambles’ – family

In a statement after the case, the family said their mother never came home that Christmas due to circumstances for which they have never received answers.

They said they wanted to shine a light on the disgrace that the Mayo hospital and hospitals around the country were in.

The family said the health care service was a “shambles and a disgrace”.

They said it was not acceptable to be unable to get a doctor or a bed in A&E or to be ignored while on a trolley gasping for air.

They said the sad part was that it was “all too common”.

This case has been going on for six years, they said, and “nothing is changing”.

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