The family of a pensioner who died after not being given enough to drink on a hospital ward has called for changes to be made to prevent others from suffering.
Evelyn Coupland, who suffered from dementia, died aged 77 after developing an infection at the Grenoside Grange facility on Salt Box Lane, Grenoside, Sheffield.
Mrs Coupland was being treated on a specialist ward used for assessing people with mental health problems, but was neglected by staff who left her unattended for more than 15 hours.
An inquest at Sheffield Coroner’s Court found she died in April 2012 because of dehydration, which brought on urinary tract and chest infections.
Giving evidence, Mrs Coupland’s daughter Susan said she had to insist that her mother be seen by a doctor, and there was a delay in admitting her to the Northern General Hospital when her condition deteriorated.
Her son Steve said: “It was just devastating for the family when my mother died, especially knowing that we had raised concerns about her care and more could have been done to help her.
“Communication was poor from the staff about what they were doing to help my mother eat and drink.
“We had found my mother still in bed at 2.30 in the afternoon, and were told by staff not to wake her as she ‘made their job difficult’.
“We just hope that by highlighting the poor care my mother received, changes will be made and others will not experience the same poor levels of service.
“We would hate for other families to be in the same situation.”
Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Grenoside Grange, said there was a ‘lack of co-ordinated action’ by staff from April 7 onwards.
A separate investigation by Sheffield Council’s Safeguarding Team found workers neglected Mrs Coupland’s needs.
Medical lawyer Sarah Rowland, who is representing the family on behalf of legal firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “This is a very sad case in which an elderly resident on a specialist hospital ward was given very poor levels of care.
“It is important now that staff training is improved, and that lessons are learned from this case, so that other residents at Grenoside Grange and their families are not put in this terrible situation.”