Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bureaucrats have little use for people, especially those with no political clout.

Brigadier John Platt pictured in 1944 after he was given the DSO by King George. He would suffer indignity many years later at the hands of Salisbury District Hospital
A dying 101-year-old war hero was sent home from hospital by taxi wearing only a nappy and a set of ill-fitting pyjamas.

Brigadier John Platt, who won the Distinguished Service Order for his bravery in battle, was left ‘degraded and humiliated’ by his treatment by Salisbury District Hospital, his family say.
Brig Platt had spend five days on a mixed-sex ward during which his hearing aid was stepped on and crushed, his false teeth went missing and his soiled pyjamas were piled up in a locker by his bed for the duration.

He was unable to feed himself and was discharged in an incontinent and confused state, clutching a bag of his dirty clothes.

Brig Platt, who took part in one of the fiercest battles of the Italian campaign during the Second World War, died several days after his hour-long journey home to Morpeth, in Northumberland.

His daughter-in-law Amanda described his treatment as ‘disgraceful’.

She added: ‘All that he had at the end of his 101 years was his dignity and they took that away from him.

‘You just don’t do that to people … I was so furious. I think respect in that situation is the same as compassion.

‘I just can’t believe that any hospital would keep excrement-covered clothing in a locker for five days. I got the impression this lack of attention must be endemic because it was so lightly treated.’

Brig Platt was awarded the DSO for bravery after leading men of the 2nd Bn, the Somerset Light Infantry, in an assault across the Gargliano River in May 1944.
He was wounded twice during the operation.

Hero: Brig Platt pictured at his 100th birthday party. At the age of 101, he was sent home from hospital wearing only a nappy and ill-fitting pyjamas
Mrs Platt said: ‘Everybody’s got to die. He was obviously going to die and he wanted to die.
‘It wasn’t because he was a heavily decorated soldier – but I felt they didn’t acknowledge he was an old man of 101 who deserved respect.’
In a statement, the hospital said: ‘Some aspects of Brig Platt’s discharge from hospital in 2006 were unacceptable and the trust apologises for any distress that this has caused.’

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