A HOSPITAL paid out more than £1,000 to two grieving families whose relatives died as a result of care failings.

The Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman found Basildon Hospital failed to correctly diagnose a hernia for more than three weeks.

Surgery was eventually carried out but the patient, named only as Mrs P, did not recover and died in autumn 2013, three weeks after the operation.

A report said: “The trust misinterpreted the original scan images, and failed to review the images again when Mrs P’s condition did not improve.

“Staff also missed opportunities to consider a diagnosis of obstructed bowel because of a hernia.

“We were unable to conclude that Mrs P would have survived surgery if the trust had made the correct diagnosis earlier; however, we agreed with the trust that the delay compromised her chances of a better outcome.

“This caused distress to Mrs P’s family because they will never know whether or not the outcome could have been different.”

The hospital wrote to Mrs P’s son and daughter to acknowledge the failings found by the ombudsman and apologised for distress causes.

It also paid £500 compensation to them both.

A patient in her eighties, named as Mrs Y, was admitted to the hospital vomiting blood. She was treated on the acute medical unit and transferred to a ward later the same day.

Between 4am and 5am the following morning, Mrs Y left her bed. She was found dead at 5.15am with her daughter, named only as Mrs A, saying the trust’s lack of care meant her mother was able to leave her bed. The ombudsman found “falls risk assessment and bed rails assessment were not completed as they should have been”, as well as problems with the investigation into Mrs Y’s death.

Mrs A was paid £250 in compensation with the hospital apologising for failings in complaint handling.

A hospital spokesman said: “Both cases identified in the ombudsman’s report are from 2013, and since then the quality of care provided to our patients has improved significantly.

“We have apologised to the families of both patients and have put measures in place to reduce the risk of incidents like this happening again.

“This includes ensuring we meet best practice guidelines in all aspects of care provided to patients who attend hospital with acute abdominal pain; and improvements in the way we investigate incidents, including ensuring regular communication with patients and families.”