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Mum’s emotional film used to train Darent Valley Hospital staff after daughter’s death

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 January 2020

Sian's mother Nicola made the video to help train hospital staff after her daughter died needlessly. Picture: Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust

Sian's mother Nicola made the video to help train hospital staff after her daughter died needlessly. Picture: Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust

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An NHS trust has vowed to learn from the death of a patient, and is now even using a short film made by the mother for staff training.

Sian with her baby. Picture: Dartford and Gravesham NHS TrustSian with her baby. Picture: Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust

Sian Hollands died in November 2015 and an investigation found staff at Darent Valley Hospital judged her on her drug-using lifestyle.

Medical procedures were not followed and a doctor was suspended for not realising how serious Sian's chest pains were. She died from a clot in her lungs and cardiac arrest.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal found principles of good medical practice were "breached".

Now her mother Nicola Smith has made a moving film which is being used for staff training.

Sian's mother Nicola made the video to help train hospital staff after her daughter died needlessly. Picture: Dartford and Gravesham NHS TrustSian's mother Nicola made the video to help train hospital staff after her daughter died needlessly. Picture: Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust

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She said: "On the 15th November 2015 my family's life changed due to the tragic death. I continually fought for someone to listen. I had numerous meetings with the hospital but seemed to hit a brick wall.

"After lots of meeting and endless paperwork I was finally blessed with meeting the chief nurse Siobhan and the new CEO Louise. Finally I was heard.

"I have worked alongside the hospital to make a video to make staff stop and think so that something can be learnt from my daughter's unnecessary death."

Louise Ashley, chief executive of the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, said: "Whilst I know that all our staff come to work do the best for their patients, sometimes we do not get it right.

"In the case of Sian we made judgements about her previous lifestyle choices and it interfered with our clinical decision making. "Unfortunately we can't go back and change what happened on that night in November 2015, but thanks to the extreme courage and determination of Nicola, Sian's mum and her family, we can all learn lessons so that Sian's story is never repeated.

"I would like to thank Nicola for working with our chief nurse to make this training video. We will be using it to educate staff in the importance of getting the facts right, making non-judgemental decisions and being honest and open with families even when we are 
not proud of the care we have given."

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