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  1. ITV Report

The victims of Stafford Hospital

The victims of Stafford Hospital Photo: ITV News Central

For years, relatives of several patients who died at Stafford Hospital have been speaking out about the standards of care they received on the wards.

Many were vulnerable and elderly and needed special attention. Yet their families say they were deprived of even the basics - food, water, medicines, and treatment with dignity and humanity.

A tribute wall made by family members and loved ones of patients who have died at Stafford Hospital. Credit: PA

It's thought hundreds of people died after treatment at Stafford Hospital.

Here are the accounts of just four relatives, whose loved ones were the victims of appalling care:

George Dalziel:'What are you doing to him?'

This photograph of George Dalziel was taken just two weeks before his death

George Dalziel died at Stafford Hospital five years ago. His widow, Chris, blames poor care at the hospital for his death.

She says she protested to a member of staff over his rapid decline and weight loss after an operation:

"The bones on his back were sticking out, like that. And I just said to her: 'What are you doing to him?'."

– Chris Dalziel, widow

Mrs Dalziel says he was left in agony because of mistakes over pain relief and says he didn't get fed properly:

"The epidural had been sited in the wrong place. By this time his legs and his feet had swollen badly.

"He was down to about seven and a half stones. And I think in the end, because he was in so much pain, he had lost so much weight, that he hadn't got the fight in him anymore - to fight the pain."

"I think in the end, because he was in so much pain, he had lost so much weight, that he hadn't got the fight in him anymore - to fight the pain."

– Chris Dalziel, widow

Joyce Williams: 'She couldn't even stand when she left Stafford'

Joyce Williams went into hospital for an operation on her arm, when she left, she couldn't even stand

Joyce Williams had been a nurse all her life. She didn't actually die at the hospital, but her relatives have similar concerns about the care she received at Stafford.

They believe her care after a broken arm and an infection was appalling.

Her grandaughter, Rebecca Davis, says her death was 'totally unnecessary'.

"If she had gone in there and just had the arm operated on and just cared for like a human being, she'd be alive."

– Rebecca Davis, grandaughter of Joyce Williams

Ms Davis described how her grandmother's weight just "dropped off" because she wasn't getting enough food.

She says: "They [hospital staff] just put this massive plate of whatever it was from the kitchens in front of them. It normally wasn't what you'd ordered. And they'd say: 'Oh, do you not want that, Mrs Williams?' And off it would go. They just would not make the effort to sit down with her and give her the food."

When she left Stafford Hospital she could not even stand, and was told she would never walk again.

But after moving to a nursing home, her granddaughter says Mrs Williams made remarkable progress:

"With good nursing care, proper food, water, she was up on a frame within a week. They said she would never walk again at Stafford. But she did."

She died a year later.

Ellen Linstead: "It's beyond horrendous. It's soul destroying."

Ellen Linstead contracted a superbug while at Stafford Hospital

Ellen Linstead was admitted to Stafford Hospital after having a fall at home.

She went in for physiotherapy, and was admitted to an open ward.

Relatives of other patients raised concerns that their loved ones had picked up the hospital superbug Clostridium difficile (C. Diff). Mrs Linstead very quickly contracted it too. She had it until the day she died.

Her daughter, Deb Hazeldine, said the bug impacted on all her health:

"She wasn't able to mobilise. She had chronic diarrhoea and really, from that point onwards, she never got better."

Her daughter, who has been fighting the case ever since, says it didn't end with her mother's death.

At the undertakers, her body was in a sealed bag covered in stickers warning it was highly contagious.

"We were allowed a few minutes, a few moments, with my mum. We saw her head protruding from a body bag. And we were allowed to spend a couple of minutes with her, just really to say goodbye. And what they said was 'we now have to put your mum's head back into the body bag and seal it because she is at risk of infecting the ground that she is buried in'. It's beyond horrendous. It's soul destroying."

"It's beyond horrendous. It's soul destroying."

– Deb Hazeldine, daughter

Bella Bailey: "It was just total neglect"

Bella Bailey was dropped in hospital

Julie Bailey founded the pressure group Cure the NHS _after the treatment her mother received at Stafford Hospital.

She says her mum Bella was accidentally dropped in the hospital - and wasn't given the vital drugs she needed. She says she died a few hours later, after drowning in her own fluid.

She said:

"There were patients going without food and fluids. There were no doctors checking on them. It was just total neglect, particularly of older people.

"And then when I have come out of the hospital, for the last four years, hat's all I have heard about - old people losing their lives in the hospital.

"They didn't have fluids for hours, days, They didn't have food. The staff themselves had a professional responsibility to do something about it.

"They should have spoken out about the poor care they were witnessing. So it was the top to the very bottom that failed my mum. It's a whole system failure."

Julie Bailey with her 'Cure the NHS' campaign group Credit: PA

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