Mum wants answers after death of double-lung transplant daughter

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide: Laura McCreesh pictured with her mum Margaret Laura McCreesh pictured with her mum Margaret

A GRIEVING mother whose daughter underwent a lifesaving transplant but later died of septicaemia is still waiting for answers from health bosses — seven months on.

Margaret McCreesh, aged 61, of Hillside Avenue, Whitefield, was devastated when her daughter Laura died aged 33 last July, three years after a double-lung transplant.

Mrs McCreesh has criticised health bosses for failing to give her explanations, after claiming district nurses had phoned her twice to demand equipment be returned — before Laura’s funeral had taken place.

She also complained about the missed appointment of a district nurse on May 27 last year.

Despite asking Bury South MP Ivan Lewis for help, she has still had no answers.

Mrs McCreesh said: “Laura was a wonderful person with a larger than life character.

“It took me a long time to even start to get over Laura’s death and I just cannot believe it has taken so long to find these things out. I want closure before the first anniversary of Laura’s death.”

Laura studied at St Bernadette’s RC Primary School in Whitefield, St Monica’s High School in Prestwich and Holy Cross College in Bury.

She gained a geography degree and had dreams of becoming a teacher when, aged 24, she became ill and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, leading to her life-saving transplant.

Mrs McCreesh said a Bury district nurse called on July 10, 2013 — five days after Laura’s death — about returning equipment “I told her we had not had the funeral yet and I would not be able to deal with it until after the funeral, but she phoned the next day.

“In total, it took 12 phone calls and three visits to collect the equipment at the worst time of my life.”

MP Ivan Lewis said: “To compound Mrs McCreesh’s grief, she has been treated in an entirely unacceptable way when raising legitimate concerns.

“I have raised my concerns with Leigh Griffin, managing director of Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit (GMCSU) and, if I do not get a satisfactory answer, I will raise the matter with the Secretary of State.”

Mrs McCreesh had written to GMCSU, Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Pennine Care, and the Department of Health. She said: “They say they will respond at some point, but it’s not good enough.

“It is sad to think this is how the NHS deals with complaints.”

Bury CCG chief officer Stuart North said: “I must apologise again for the delays in response to Mrs McCreesh’s complaint.

“There have been a series of unfortunate delays that are thankfully not common.

“The delays have been due to a combination of human error and circumstances out of our control.

“Whatever the reasons, these delays have meant that Mrs McCreesh’s experience in having her complaint dealt with has fallen far short of what she should expect from the NHS.

“In response to the delays experienced by Mrs McCreesh, we have been working with our patient services team to improve the way that complaints are handled in the future.”

He added: “Mrs McCreesh has received an interim report that goes some way towards addressing her complaint and we are working with Pennine Care to ensure a final response is provided as soon as is practically possible.”

Pennine Care’s Bury community services director Jackie Taylor said: “We offer our sincere condolences to Mrs McCreesh on the passing of her daughter and apologise for any further distress caused as a result of the issues she has raised.

“We have fully taken her comments on board and have carried out an investigation, which will result in improved practices.

“We are working closely with the Bury Clinical Commissioning Group’s Patient Services Team, which is handling Mrs McCreesh’s complaint, to provide an appropriate and detailed response.”

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