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Heartache as hospital bosses send appointment letter for man who has been dead for five weeks

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 01, 2014

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A WIDOW struggling to come to terms with the loss of her husband today told how she was ‘shocked to the core’ after receiving a hospital appointment for him – more than five weeks after he died.

Pamela Gent was close to tears as she revealed she had just started to rebuild her world after the passing ‘love of her life’ John when the letter from the Royal Derby Hospital (right) came through her letterbox.

The 67-year-old, who lost her husband following an illness in February, also revealed how she was having to pay out of her own pocket for a second post-mortem examination on John’s body after being dissatisfied with the initial results.

It means Mrs Gent, of Burton Road, Overseal, will be forced to wait until the end of April until she can lay her husband to rest.

She said: “It was simply heartbreaking to pick the letter up and read what it said inside – it was like I had been punched in the heart.

“What makes me so angry is that the hospital was the first place I contacted when John had died, as he had been treated there in the past, and then this goes and happens. I did not think that my heart could be broken any more but this has done just that.”

Mrs Gent explained how her unhappiness with the initial post mortem led her to complain to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office.

She added: “It took four weeks for the full report to arrive and I was not happy with what it said (that he died of Bronchopneumonia) and wanted to know what the underlying causes were.

“This has meant that I asked for a second post mortem, which I will be paying for out of my own pocket.

“All of this is compounded by the fact that I now will have to wait until possibly the end of April until I can lay my husband to rest and say goodbye properly.”

A statement from Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: ““We are very sorry for the distress which this letter must have caused Mrs Gent. Clearly this should not have happened, there was an administrative error and we want to apologise for this.

“As soon as we were made aware of the letter, we spoke in person to Mrs Gent to apologise to her and to express our sincere condolences for her sad loss.”

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