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Lancaster woman, 59, dies after GP says ‘no hospital beds’

Julie Nicholson
Julie Nicholson
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The family of a Lancaster woman who died after being told not to attend hospital due to a bed shortage are demanding answers from health professionals.

Tereena Nicholson, 59, was rushed into hospital on Saturday January 13, after becoming ill at home the day before.

But her daughters and brother claim a GP told them on the Friday night not to attend the Royal Lancaster Infirmary because “she’d be backed up on a trolley for 24 hours and the cold in the corridor could kill her”.

Tereena, of Coniston Road, died the next day at 6.30pm.

Now her grieving family are demanding answers as to why she wasn’t taken into hospital sooner.

Her brother, Graham Marsden, said: “She should have been taken in sooner.

“They could have operated on her, but she didn’t get the chance.”

Tereena died from ascemic small bowel, bronchial pneumonia and an abdominal wall hernia. Her daughter Carolyn Nicholson described what happened in the hours leading up to her death.

“She said: “We rang the GP surgery at around 7.30pm on the Friday night (January 12).

“The doctor came out, checked her stomach and checked her blood sugars as she was diabetic. I said to the doctor that mum needs to be in hospital.

“But the doctor said she’d be backed up on a trolley for 24 hours and the cold could kill her in the corridor, and I said that if you leave her in the house that could kill her too.

“I found her on the landing on Saturday morning.

“She had fallen and banged her head. She fell three times. She was being really sick as well.”

The next day, Tereena’s health hadn’t improved, and Carolyn said she called for an ambulance at around 7am.

She said: “We thought that she would be okay. The next thing we knew, she had been sent to resuscitation.

“They’d previously told us that if we came after lunch she’d probably be on a ward. We got there just before 2pm, and she was lying on the bed struggling for breath. It was a total shock. She couldn’t breathe, and she died at 6.30pm. She had suffered two cardiac arrests.”

Tereena’s other daughter Julie said that she had been in hospital in December, and had a CT scan, but nothing was picked up. She added: “She was a very quiet person. She kept herself to herself and didn’t want any bother.”

Tereena, who went to Moorside Primary School, volunteered at Barnardo’s and The Children’s Society in Lancaster. She leaves behind her brother, two daughters, four granchildren and one great-grandchild.

Her funeral is due to be held at Lancaster Crematorium on Tuesday January 30 at 1pm.