In a new report entitled ‘Starved of Care’, the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland has investigated the case of “Mrs V”, a woman diagnosed with dementia, who died in a general hospital in December 2008, following a short period of treatment.
When her case came to the attention of the Mental Welfare Commission there was great concerned about medical aspects of her care in the general ward and a decision taken that this merited closer inspection.
Mrs V had major physical problems, and also experienced significant anxiety and distress. In the view of the Mental Welfare Commission, her physical problems were managed poorly. It also had serious concerns about how medication was administered to manage her distress.
Because she had difficulty swallowing, she received no food, and fluids were administered by infusion. This resulted in her being greatly distressed when she saw others eating. Over a 16 day period, she was given repeated, uncomfortable and undignified administrations of sedative medication. Mrs V received an average of two injections of sedative medication per day, and around four administrations of sedation rectally per day.
In addition, after the decision to start giving her food, sedative medication was also given orally.
Please find a link to the full publication below, please note some elements of the report may be distressing;