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Daughter not told of dad's heart attack

A WOMAN whose father had a heart attack in council-run sheltered housing has demanded to know why she wasn't told.

A WOMAN whose father had a heart attack in council-run sheltered housing has demanded to know why she wasn't told.

Diane Greenhalgh, of Westwood Street, Accrington, had just set off on a family holiday when her father, Charlie Ditchfield, collapsed at his home in Park View, Church.

The first she knew of the problem was when she tried to ring her 86-year-old father to say she had arrived in Norfolk safely but couldn't get a reply. It wasn't until she contacted her father's neighbour later that evening that she discovered he had been rushed to Blackburn Royal Infirmary.

A furious Mrs Greenhalgh is now demanding to know why the warden at Park View, who called the ambulance for Mr Ditchfield, did not contact her on her mobile phone as soon as it happened.

She said: "At first I thought he may have gone out but I kept trying to ring him and there was still no answer. I eventually got the number for Park View but by then the warden had gone off duty and no-one was answering. I was crying, as I knew something was wrong. In the end I rang my dad's neighbour, who told me what had happened."

She added that she eventually got in touch with the warden, who told her Mr Ditchfield had asked for her not to be contacted as he didn't want to disrupt her holiday. But Mrs Greenhalgh, who cut her holiday short the next day, said she wasn't satisfied.

She said: "I don't think it's good enough - she should have contacted me straightaway and left it up to me whether to come back, regardless of what my dad said. He can't remember what happened and he was very confused.''

Rona Courtney, housing business manager for Hyndburn Council, said: "This was obviously very distressing for Mrs Greenhalgh and we do sympathise. But this is a very difficult case. Our job is to support independent living for older people, and unless a person is unable to deal with their own affairs we do take the clients' instructions and, consequently, respect their wishes.

"Although the warden asked Mr Ditchfield for permission to contact his daughter, he was adamant that she should not be contacted and she therefore respected his wishes. Before leaving Mr Ditchfield, the warden ensured that she had given the necessary contact details to the paramedics, so the hospital authorities could contact her if necessary."


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