It is extremely disappointing that incorrect and misleading claims were made about East Surrey Hospital in The Sunday Times today, and that they did not reflect the facts that we provided to them in advance of publication.
Dr Ed Cetti, Medical Director, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said:
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to Mr Austin’s family for their loss. At no point was there any delay to Mr Austin’s care or was he denied the care he needed. No patient in our care is ever forced to accept a DNACPR order and this has been the case throughout the pandemic. We twice confirmed with Mr Austin his personal DNACPR decision.”
- Many factors inform whether a patient would benefit from intensive care admission, high flow nasal oxygen treatment or non-invasive ventilation. These include prognosis from the acute illness, frailty and other underlying medical conditions. We do not deny patients access to intensive care based on an age cut-off.
- Patients who have capacity to make their own decisions about their care, including decisions around resuscitation or intensive care admission, do so together with their clinical team’s advice and support.
- To respond to the pandemic the trust quadrupled its critical care capacity to care for COVID patients and this would have been available to Mr Austin if clinically appropriate. We never denied any patient intensive care treatment due to a lack of capacity.
- There were plans in place across the South East and London to use available intensive care capacity if needed. This included access to the London Nightingale Hospital if necessary.
- Mr Austin was provided with high flow oxygen without delay and this was increased in line with his clinical need.
We are reviewing all our options for a formal complaint including writing to the Independent Press Standards Organisation.
View the response from the NHS and other professional bodies here.