Reginald and Joyce Holland move to Alicante ended in tragedy

Daily Echo: Reginald and Joyce enjoy their life in Alicante. Reginald and Joyce enjoy their life in Alicante.

THEY were living their dream, but it ended in tragedy.

Reginald and Joyce Holland had moved from their home in Hythe to enjoy a long and happy retirement in Spain.

But that was cut short when 85-year-old Reginald died in hospital – and just four days later his wife died as a result of the lack of care she received in the same hospital.

And an inquest heard that the bed sores suffered by Joyce were “the worst” a coroner had ever seen.

Now their heartbroken family is calling for action to be taken to ensure that other British couples enjoying their retirement in Spain do not suffer the same lack of care.

Southampton Coroner’s Court heard how 78-year-old Mrs Holland died just days after flying back to the UK with her family in March, after the Spanish hospital she was being treated in insisted that she was discharged.

Sadly her husband, who had been admitted to hospital after a fall at their home at the beginning of March, had died just two days before they were due to fly home, on March 30.

Mrs Holland had been admitted to hospital at the end of January, a few weeks after fracturing her hip after falling off a bus in Alicante, where she and her husband of almost 60 years had set up home in 2001.

Mrs Holland, who had always been active and volunteered at a home for stray animals, spent the next two months in a hospital bed, barely moving, which resulted in a large and painful bed sore that the hospital failed to tell her family about, the inquest heard.

A post-mortem revealed that the sore was so badly infected that it had eroded into the bone and soft tissue of the pelvis. It was this infection that resulted in her death on April 1.

Pathologist Eleanor Jaynes told the court she was “quite surprised” at the size of the sore and when asked by the coroner if she felt Mrs Holland was fit to be discharged she replied “no”.

Recording a verdict of death due to lack of care, deputy coroner Gordon Densen described Mrs Holland’s bed sore as “appalling”. He added: “These are the worst I have ever witnessed. The fact that [the hospital] wished to discharge her is a clear example of an extreme lack of care.”

Her son Mark, from Hythe, said: “We don’t want this happening to other people in Spain.

People need to be aware this can happen and something needs to be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again. There was no communication from the hospital and when we tried to get answers, we were told that no one speaks English. It wasn’t until we hired a private care agency that we even knew that mum had a bed sore.

“We want something put into place where non-Spanish-speaking patients and their relatives are given a clear translation of everything that is going on. We believe that if they had fallen in England, both my parents would still be here today.”

Comments (15)

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1:37pm Fri 1 Jun 12

freemantlegirl2 says...

How sad :( :(

Spanish NHS hospitals aren't anywhere like ours, relatives are expected to do most of the 'nursing'. Having lived and worked in Spain in the past I would advise anyone planning to live in Spain to take out private health insurance, have numbers of doctors etc. Age Concern do operate in some Southern parts of Spain too and can give advice.
How sad :( :( Spanish NHS hospitals aren't anywhere like ours, relatives are expected to do most of the 'nursing'. Having lived and worked in Spain in the past I would advise anyone planning to live in Spain to take out private health insurance, have numbers of doctors etc. Age Concern do operate in some Southern parts of Spain too and can give advice. freemantlegirl2
  • Score: 0

2:39pm Fri 1 Jun 12

southy says...

freemantlegirl2 wrote:
How sad :( :(

Spanish NHS hospitals aren't anywhere like ours, relatives are expected to do most of the 'nursing'. Having lived and worked in Spain in the past I would advise anyone planning to live in Spain to take out private health insurance, have numbers of doctors etc. Age Concern do operate in some Southern parts of Spain too and can give advice.
And thats what the UK is heading towards, a NHS 3rd rate service.
[quote][p][bold]freemantlegirl2[/bold] wrote: How sad :( :( Spanish NHS hospitals aren't anywhere like ours, relatives are expected to do most of the 'nursing'. Having lived and worked in Spain in the past I would advise anyone planning to live in Spain to take out private health insurance, have numbers of doctors etc. Age Concern do operate in some Southern parts of Spain too and can give advice.[/p][/quote]And thats what the UK is heading towards, a NHS 3rd rate service. southy
  • Score: 0

3:01pm Fri 1 Jun 12

Shoong says...

southy wrote:
freemantlegirl2 wrote:
How sad :( :(

Spanish NHS hospitals aren't anywhere like ours, relatives are expected to do most of the 'nursing'. Having lived and worked in Spain in the past I would advise anyone planning to live in Spain to take out private health insurance, have numbers of doctors etc. Age Concern do operate in some Southern parts of Spain too and can give advice.
And thats what the UK is heading towards, a NHS 3rd rate service.
Best go private then, you can probably afford it.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]freemantlegirl2[/bold] wrote: How sad :( :( Spanish NHS hospitals aren't anywhere like ours, relatives are expected to do most of the 'nursing'. Having lived and worked in Spain in the past I would advise anyone planning to live in Spain to take out private health insurance, have numbers of doctors etc. Age Concern do operate in some Southern parts of Spain too and can give advice.[/p][/quote]And thats what the UK is heading towards, a NHS 3rd rate service.[/p][/quote]Best go private then, you can probably afford it. Shoong
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Fri 1 Jun 12

forcaster says...

Very sorry to hear of the deaths of mr & mrs Holland.I have lived in Spain since 1988 and both myself and my Wife have had hospital treatment in San Juan and Alicante general hospitals and can assure readers that the treatment that I received and the treatment that my Wife is receiving now is FIRST CLASS.
Very sorry to hear of the deaths of mr & mrs Holland.I have lived in Spain since 1988 and both myself and my Wife have had hospital treatment in San Juan and Alicante general hospitals and can assure readers that the treatment that I received and the treatment that my Wife is receiving now is FIRST CLASS. forcaster
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Fri 1 Jun 12

forcaster says...

Regards to my previous comment I can assure readers that the treatment you receive from the Spanish N.H. is better than you will receive in the UK Regarding the call made to the Spanish hospital (they dont speak English) of cause not they are Spanish.Most ex pats will agree with my view that you will NOT get better treatment any where else. Was Mr&Mrs holland residents? was the hospital a private one? the article does not state the whole story As for freemantle girl she is deluded. To conclude two persons to a room,very very clean,nightwear towels and bed linen changed EVERY DAY,continental breakfast, two hot meals ,afternoon coffee,biscuits or cake and at night a hot drink before you snug down.Will be arriving in Southampton beginning of July and will be pleased to answer any questions re the Spanish NH>
Regards to my previous comment I can assure readers that the treatment you receive from the Spanish N.H. is better than you will receive in the UK Regarding the call made to the Spanish hospital (they dont speak English) of cause not they are Spanish.Most ex pats will agree with my view that you will NOT get better treatment any where else. Was Mr&Mrs holland residents? was the hospital a private one? the article does not state the whole story As for freemantle girl she is deluded. To conclude two persons to a room,very very clean,nightwear towels and bed linen changed EVERY DAY,continental breakfast, two hot meals ,afternoon coffee,biscuits or cake and at night a hot drink before you snug down.Will be arriving in Southampton beginning of July and will be pleased to answer any questions re the Spanish NH> forcaster
  • Score: 0

4:14pm Fri 1 Jun 12

dogbruce says...

Worked in a English Nusring home in the Canaries , Had many English residents and holiday makers come to stay for respite and some till there able to fly back to uk .The treatment in the hospitals there was fab ,the hospitals far cleaner than any uk hospital
Worked in a English Nusring home in the Canaries , Had many English residents and holiday makers come to stay for respite and some till there able to fly back to uk .The treatment in the hospitals there was fab ,the hospitals far cleaner than any uk hospital dogbruce
  • Score: 0

5:32pm Fri 1 Jun 12

espanuel says...

Forcaster, agree with you, we have lived in Spain for eight years and Never had any problem with heath system.The persons should have got an interpreter which would of made alot of difference. One problem that many ex pats have that Spanish people should speak english. YOU ARE IN THERE COUNTRY. SOUTHY have you ever been in a Spanish hospital?
Forcaster, agree with you, we have lived in Spain for eight years and Never had any problem with heath system.The persons should have got an interpreter which would of made alot of difference. One problem that many ex pats have that Spanish people should speak english. YOU ARE IN THERE COUNTRY. SOUTHY have you ever been in a Spanish hospital? espanuel
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Fri 1 Jun 12

Angela holland says...

In answer to some of your points raised, this report is a good synopsis of the events that took place leading to the death of Joyce and Reg's death but it would have been impossible to have written their whole story without a book. The inquest attended by the journalist who attended was a based on a police statement, medical records from San Juan Hospital, a Patholgists report (in attenendance), a UK Doctors report who saw Joyce 2 days before she died and a police statement.
- Joyce and Reg were Spanish Citizens
- Joyce and Reg had intergrated and had many Spanish friends
- Joyce did Voluntary work for a Spanish Charity
- They spoke some Spanish but got by with their communication
- We did have an interperetor, put into place by Reg before he also was put into hospital
-It was us as visiting relations who did not speak Spanish but although Visited Spain during 3 different trips while Joyce was in hospital did not see a doctor.
- did have contact with Social Services,the consulate and the European Parliment
- If family are expected to care whilst people are ill in hospital we ask that we are given that information, and what happens to people without family?
- Reg and Joyce were at there most vunerable and with our only understanding being that while you are in hospital you are being cared for we were making arrangements for when they were discharged.
In answer to some of your points raised, this report is a good synopsis of the events that took place leading to the death of Joyce and Reg's death but it would have been impossible to have written their whole story without a book. The inquest attended by the journalist who attended was a based on a police statement, medical records from San Juan Hospital, a Patholgists report (in attenendance), a UK Doctors report who saw Joyce 2 days before she died and a police statement. - Joyce and Reg were Spanish Citizens - Joyce and Reg had intergrated and had many Spanish friends - Joyce did Voluntary work for a Spanish Charity - They spoke some Spanish but got by with their communication - We did have an interperetor, put into place by Reg before he also was put into hospital -It was us as visiting relations who did not speak Spanish but although Visited Spain during 3 different trips while Joyce was in hospital did not see a doctor. - did have contact with Social Services,the consulate and the European Parliment - If family are expected to care whilst people are ill in hospital we ask that we are given that information, and what happens to people without family? - Reg and Joyce were at there most vunerable and with our only understanding being that while you are in hospital you are being cared for we were making arrangements for when they were discharged. Angela holland
  • Score: 0

8:14pm Fri 1 Jun 12

Angela holland says...

Medical staff must know enough to have known how severely ill Reg and Joyce were. Should anyone be in hospital for 74 days (having previously led an active live) and die from a bed sore?

WE WERE IN THERE COUNTRY VISITING VERY SICK PARENTS, COULD NOT LEARN SPANISH FAST ENOUGH TO LIASE WITH MEDICAL STAFF, THERE WERE STAFF SHO SPOKE SOME ENGLISH BUT THEY WOULD NOT TALK WITH US. WE DID HAVE AN INTERPRETOR
Medical staff must know enough to have known how severely ill Reg and Joyce were. Should anyone be in hospital for 74 days (having previously led an active live) and die from a bed sore? WE WERE IN THERE COUNTRY VISITING VERY SICK PARENTS, COULD NOT LEARN SPANISH FAST ENOUGH TO LIASE WITH MEDICAL STAFF, THERE WERE STAFF SHO SPOKE SOME ENGLISH BUT THEY WOULD NOT TALK WITH US. WE DID HAVE AN INTERPRETOR Angela holland
  • Score: 0

8:21pm Fri 1 Jun 12

Angela holland says...

The trips made by family from England were numerous, Son in law 2 weeks, Daughter 2 x 5 day trips, Son 1 2 x 5 day trips and son 2, 2 x 5 days trips. but never saw a doctor
We had a lot of information emailed to us by Reg's interperetor.
The trips made by family from England were numerous, Son in law 2 weeks, Daughter 2 x 5 day trips, Son 1 2 x 5 day trips and son 2, 2 x 5 days trips. but never saw a doctor We had a lot of information emailed to us by Reg's interperetor. Angela holland
  • Score: 0

8:58am Sat 2 Jun 12

southy says...

Shoong wrote:
southy wrote:
freemantlegirl2 wrote:
How sad :( :(

Spanish NHS hospitals aren't anywhere like ours, relatives are expected to do most of the 'nursing'. Having lived and worked in Spain in the past I would advise anyone planning to live in Spain to take out private health insurance, have numbers of doctors etc. Age Concern do operate in some Southern parts of Spain too and can give advice.
And thats what the UK is heading towards, a NHS 3rd rate service.
Best go private then, you can probably afford it.
No because its the private sector thats is draing the money out of the NHS.
Be better to do away with all private health.
[quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]freemantlegirl2[/bold] wrote: How sad :( :( Spanish NHS hospitals aren't anywhere like ours, relatives are expected to do most of the 'nursing'. Having lived and worked in Spain in the past I would advise anyone planning to live in Spain to take out private health insurance, have numbers of doctors etc. Age Concern do operate in some Southern parts of Spain too and can give advice.[/p][/quote]And thats what the UK is heading towards, a NHS 3rd rate service.[/p][/quote]Best go private then, you can probably afford it.[/p][/quote]No because its the private sector thats is draing the money out of the NHS. Be better to do away with all private health. southy
  • Score: 0

9:07am Sat 2 Jun 12

southy says...

espanuel wrote:
Forcaster, agree with you, we have lived in Spain for eight years and Never had any problem with heath system.The persons should have got an interpreter which would of made alot of difference. One problem that many ex pats have that Spanish people should speak english. YOU ARE IN THERE COUNTRY. SOUTHY have you ever been in a Spanish hospital?
No but I have come into contact with loads off Spainish people, who all are saying, Maybe there National Health Service may not as been as good as the British Health Service, but the same thing is happening there as in what is happening here. The private sector is cue jumping in public health Services, and putting all those that are on the Spainish National Health Service at risk.
[quote][p][bold]espanuel[/bold] wrote: Forcaster, agree with you, we have lived in Spain for eight years and Never had any problem with heath system.The persons should have got an interpreter which would of made alot of difference. One problem that many ex pats have that Spanish people should speak english. YOU ARE IN THERE COUNTRY. SOUTHY have you ever been in a Spanish hospital?[/p][/quote]No but I have come into contact with loads off Spainish people, who all are saying, Maybe there National Health Service may not as been as good as the British Health Service, but the same thing is happening there as in what is happening here. The private sector is cue jumping in public health Services, and putting all those that are on the Spainish National Health Service at risk. southy
  • Score: 0

10:06am Sat 2 Jun 12

pod says...

Angela holland wrote:
The trips made by family from England were numerous, Son in law 2 weeks, Daughter 2 x 5 day trips, Son 1 2 x 5 day trips and son 2, 2 x 5 days trips. but never saw a doctor
We had a lot of information emailed to us by Reg's interperetor.
Angela, firstly I would like to say how sorry I am for the loss of your family, they sound like very vibrant happy people. Please ignore some of the posts on here, this lot are very fond of making judgements only knowing half the facts, your family must have gone through a terrifying time.
A pathologist and deputy coroner have given their judgements. I am sure there are good and bad hospitals both in England and Spain. You were there you know how you were treated no one else.
[quote][p][bold]Angela holland[/bold] wrote: The trips made by family from England were numerous, Son in law 2 weeks, Daughter 2 x 5 day trips, Son 1 2 x 5 day trips and son 2, 2 x 5 days trips. but never saw a doctor We had a lot of information emailed to us by Reg's interperetor.[/p][/quote]Angela, firstly I would like to say how sorry I am for the loss of your family, they sound like very vibrant happy people. Please ignore some of the posts on here, this lot are very fond of making judgements only knowing half the facts, your family must have gone through a terrifying time. A pathologist and deputy coroner have given their judgements. I am sure there are good and bad hospitals both in England and Spain. You were there you know how you were treated no one else. pod
  • Score: 0

10:28am Sat 2 Jun 12

Verloren Hoop says...

Angela,
Please do not read any more posts on this site as the Trolls will be about. My condolences.
Angela, Please do not read any more posts on this site as the Trolls will be about. My condolences. Verloren Hoop
  • Score: 0

6:03pm Sun 3 Jun 12

SPIKEISLANDTRADER says...

Sad story of a loving couple wanting to spend their last years in the sun . TREATMENT should not be compromised where ever you LIVE / HOLIDAY . And its the TREATMENT / CARE thats important not the language spoken
Sad story of a loving couple wanting to spend their last years in the sun . TREATMENT should not be compromised where ever you LIVE / HOLIDAY . And its the TREATMENT / CARE thats important not the language spoken SPIKEISLANDTRADER
  • Score: 0

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