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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 19:16 GMT 20:16 UK
Food row over grandmother's death
Pauline Pringle
Pauline Pringle said she thought the National Health Service was in crisis
The daughter of a 91-year-old woman who weighed five stone (31.75kg) when she died in hospital has said she was not fed properly by medical staff.

Pauline Pringle said her mother Sarah Ingham "was not given the right food" while at Tameside General Hospital.

Coroner John Pollard recorded a verdict of accidental death at an inquest at Stockport, Gtr Manchester, last month.

A Tameside & Glossop Acute Services NHS Trust statement said the case would be thoroughly investigated.

'Wrong menu'

"She was given the wrong menus then the wrong food came up - she was not given the right food," Mrs Pringle told the BBC.

"You went to them and said 'you've given her fish and chips' and they said 'oh I'm sorry here's an ice cream' but it wasn't enough.

"There was no continuity and I think they were very short-staffed - I think the National Health Service is in crisis."

The inquest had been told that the family even took food parcels to Mrs Ingham, from Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, who died on 6 January having lost three and a half stone (21.77kg).

Mr Pollard said: "It is totally unsatisfactory in a major city of a Western democracy that families have to take food into hospital because their loved ones are not fed properly by staff."

Chest infection

Mrs Ingham was admitted to hospital after a bad fall. An operation to remove her artificial hip ended in the wound becoming infected and she developed a chest infection and pneumonia.

Mrs Ingham was prescribed a soft food diet by a nutritionist while she was in hospital but her family told the inquest she did not get the right diet.

The hospital trust said it did not want to pre-empt the investigation outcome.

But a spokesman added: "The clinical view of the lead orthopaedic consultant from the hospital is that Mrs Ingham's underlying medical condition (chronic sepsis) was a major factor contributing to her weight loss, a point already made in the coroner's inquest."

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