Family and hospital want end to row over treatment

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The family of Rose Addis and the hospital accused of neglecting her sought yesterday to cool the political row which has raged over her treatment.

Relatives of 94-year-old Mrs Addis, who claimed she was left caked in blood in the casualty department of the Whittington Hospital in north London after a fall at her home, are to meet senior managers at the hospital.

Jason Gold, Mrs Addis's grandson, said: "Both the hospital and ourselves feel we want to draw a line under the issue now. We are going to discuss with them what happened to my grandmother, but in private rather than in public. We just want to get back to normal, get our lives back and get my grandmother home."

The family welcomed an apology from the hospital managers for their suggestion that Mrs Addis had refused to be treated by ethnic minority nurses. But the Whittington stopped short of meeting the family's demand for an apology over the way Mrs Addis was looked after. Mr Gold said: "Ultimately, we want an acknowledgment that the care my grandmother received during those three days in casualty was not appropriate."

Professor James Malone-Lee, the hospital's clinical director, said: "We have agreed to meet with the family when it has all calmed down. I am sure that an amicable solution will be reached."

The hospital pledged to put right a series of problems, including long waits in the accident and emergency department, which were uncovered by the Government's Commission for Health Improvement, as The Independent revealed yesterday.

Deborah Wheeler, the director of nursing at the Whittington, said: "In common with all other busy London hospitals, we do have a problem with delays in A & E when we are busy."

Mr Gold said: "This just backs up everything we have been saying about this hospital. We have been told we are lying but this report shows we have simply been telling the truth."

Iain Duncan Smith, the Tory leader, who, during Prime Minister's Question Time on Wednesday, attacked the treatment of Mrs Addis, postponed a meeting with the Addis family yesterday to prevent it becoming a "media circus".

Mr Duncan Smith accused Tony Blair of hiding behind public sector workers.

"The Prime Minister should stop using doctors and nurses, police officers and teachers, as a human shield and start to account for his own failure to reform public services after five years of promises," he said.

He added: "The Prime Minister's idea of a debate on public services is to threaten anyone who dares criticise his dreadful record."

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