After witnessing the heart-breaking unnecessary suffering and death of my Mum in 2006 at Mid Staffs Hospital, it took far too many years to uncover the full extent of the catastrophic failings in a system that had, in parts, lost sight of the patient. I took a very public, central role successfully campaigning over many years for the Public Inquiry into the Mid Staffs Disaster. I gave evidence to the Health Care Commission, on oath to the Robert Francis Mid Staffs Public Inquiry. In December 2018 I was awarded an MBE for my services to patient safety in Staffordshire. Having witnessed the investigation process, I am to this day very passionate about patients and families having a voice and being heard in all aspects of NHS care and investigations.
Ellen Linstead (Gone Too Soon)
We all have a book of our life and the chapters that include my Mum are my happiest. How do I adequately put into words joy?
Ellen Linstead, daughter, sister, wife, grandmother, and most importantly to me, my Mum. My best friend and soul mate, a ‘feeling of home.’
A dinner lady, she loved cooking, baking, always with a play on the radio in our family kitchen growing up. Always a hive of activity, much love, and laughter.
I never knew a day without her love. She simply put the sunshine into our lives. A cup of tea for all, reading a book, hugging my little girl – her granddaughter- a smile that lit up the room.
Again how do you describe the joy of just being with your Mum?
We were always so much more than our final heartbreaking memories together.
One day I will again hug my Mum and say: I am so sorry I couldn’t keep you safe, and I am never letting go again.
For then, and only then I shall truly be home.
(Deb Hazeldine, Ellen’s daughter)