A MAN died of heart failure just three days after medics at Basildon Hospital stopped his angina pills despite protests from his family.

Relatives of Alan Hayes, 72, now want his death investigated as part of the probe into the hospital, which is among five hospitals with the highest death rates in the country.

Mr Hayes, 72, died three days after staff stopped him taking beta blockers and statins which had controlled a long-term angina problem.

The Hayes family said they were even reassured in a morning phone call to the hospital that Alan was “fine” despite him already having suffered the heart attack.

Just hours later he was dead.

His son, David Hayes, 43, from Wilson Close, Stanford-le-Hope, said: “I welcome any outside inquiry that will get to the truth of how care like this has been allowed.

We thought about complaining at the time, but were still grieving and thought what good would it do.

Now that we know we are not alone we want this properly investigated in the inquiry.”

The family say the drugs had kept Alan’s heart problem under control and he had never had a heart attack before the one in hospital which killed him.

Alan was admitted on Friday, March 9 last year due to concerns about weight loss believed to have been caused by under eating due to the painful side effects of rheumatoid arthritis medication.

David said: “He was referred by the doctor in Orsett to Basildon and put on a drip, but they stopped all his medication.

Because he had angina we said he should not just come off the beta blockers and statins like that, but they were not concerned at all and said they needed to assess him for any other illnesses, so we just trusted them.”

The family called each morning to check on him and visited during the day.

Daughter Michelle Fogg, 37, said: “On Monday morning we called and were told he was fine.

When we went in to visit at 12pm he had a mask on his face and it was then they told us he had a heart attack in the night.

We believe that this only happened because they stopped his angina pills.” She said a patient in the next bed said Alan had complained through the night of chest pains, but nothing was done.

Alan was then moved to the Elizabeth Fry ward where he was left for more than three hours without a drip because they were awaiting his medical notes.

Mr Hayes added: “A doctor eventually came and tried to tell us right in front of dad that he was dying.

We asked him to tell us out of his earshot as it would panic him, but by the time we got back to the bed he was dead.” A hospital spokeswoman said: “The hospital strives to provide all of its patients with high quality safe care.

"We would encourage the family of Mr Hayes to contact the trust so we can investigate their concerns in full and establish whether there were any issues with their father’s treatment.”