Chadwell Heath cancer mum ‘fell from hospital bed days before death’

PUBLISHED: 13:50 09 September 2014 | UPDATED: 13:50 09 September 2014

Craig Rowley and his father Roger outside King George Hospital, Goodmayes (Picture: Ellie Hoskins)

Craig Rowley and his father Roger outside King George Hospital, Goodmayes (Picture: Ellie Hoskins)


Hospital bosses are investigating allegations a cancer-stricken mum fell from a bed at King George, badly cutting her head, three days before her death.

Craig Rowley and mum AudreyCraig Rowley and mum Audrey

Terminally ill Audrey Rowley, of Whalebone Avenue, Chadwell Heath, inspired a Brighton-to-Berwick-upon-Tweed bus journey, organised by her son, Craig, that bagged £6,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK – as reported in the Post in July.

But broken-hearted Craig said his mum fell from her bed in the Goodmayes hospital, on August 1, cracking her skull on a bedside cabinet while a nurse changed her sheets. Seventy-two hours later she was dead despite having been relatively well prior to the alleged incident.

“She deteriorated badly after the fall,” said IT technician Craig, who works at The Warren School. “She couldn’t communicate properly afterwards.

“I’m absolutely livid.

Craig Rowley and four friends at the end of the charity challengeCraig Rowley and four friends at the end of the charity challenge

“The fact this could happen to anyone is alarming, but to someone so close to the end is disgusting.

“My mum put all her trust in the hospital staff and she’s been tragically let down.”

In July, Craig and four friends journeyed on local buses from Brighton to Berwick-upon-Tweed to raise money and awareness about pancreatic cancer – a year after his mum’s condition was diagnosed as terminal.

Tragically, prior to her fall, Mrs Rowley had been due to leave hospital the day she died.

Craig said the family had not received any written acknowledgment of his complaint until Monday – more than five weeks after the alleged incident.

He added: “There’s been no form of accountability whatsoever.

“I’m not bothered about compensation or anything like that – I just want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “This must be a very distressing time for Mrs Rowley’s family and I know a full and through investigation is being carried out into the care she received.

“We will, of course, keep the family fully informed and I hope Mr Rowley will meet with us once an investigation has been carried out so we can share our findings with him and any learnings or improvements that might be necessary.”

Read more:

CQC report: Patients are at risk at unsafe King George Hospital A&E
Five pals set to travel length of country - by bus

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