The father of a UEA student who died in her first term at the university has criticised investigations into her death in an open letter to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).
In December 2012 Averil Hart died after being rushed to the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital (NNUH) in a critical condition following being found unconscious in her flat by a university cleaner.
Parents Nic Hart and Miranda Campbell say that Averil was only seen by the UEA medical centre four times over the course of four months, despite needing weekly appointments as a long-term sufferer of anorexia.
Addressing the PHSO Chief Dame Julie Mellor, Mr Hart said that his daughter had “died in the care of the NHS trusts that were entrusted to look after her.”
He referred to the family’s dealings with the ombudsman’s services as “years of frustration and heartache.”
Her family have claimed that Averil experienced a head injury following a fall during her time at the NNUH. They have also said her transfer to the Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where she died, was delayed.
A spokesperson for the PHSO said that they could not comment on the individual case but that in such situations they work with people “to explain how we reached our decisions; this can take time.”
The letter states that the family feel the investigation into Averil’s death is “far from complete,” despite making a submission to the PHSO almost two and a half years ago. Mr Hart goes on to say that the service are “unable to recognise the additional pain and suffering they are causing” and writes that “they have failed at every juncture of this process.”
A UEA spokesperson said that whilst they could not comment on Mr Hart’s concerns, “Averil’s family have our sincere condolences for their loss.”