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Ex-footballer’s family to pursue justice despite coroner finding ‘no evidence of neglect’

PUBLISHED: 15:48 05 December 2018

Frank Lockey, a former Liverpool footballer died in Julian Hospital in Norwich. His wife Margaret and daughter Tina Lockey say he was neglected and had many unexplained injuries. Picture: Ian Burt

Frank Lockey, a former Liverpool footballer died in Julian Hospital in Norwich. His wife Margaret and daughter Tina Lockey say he was neglected and had many unexplained injuries. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

The family of a former Liverpool footballer who died in a Norwich hospital say they will continue their fight for justice despite a coroner finding “no evidence of neglect” in his care.

Thomas Francis Lockey, known as Frank, died in August last year at Julian Hospital, aged 84.

Senior coroner for Norfolk Jacqueline Lake said Mr Lockey, who suffered from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, died of natural causes and there was no evidence he had been neglected.

Tina Lockey, from Dereham, represented herself at her father’s six-hour inquest last week after being denied legal aid.

She described the conclusion as “hugely disappointing for our family”.

Frank Lockey, a former Liverpool footballer died in Julian Hospital in Norwich. His wife Margaret and daughter Tina Lockey say he was neglected and had many unexplained injuries. Picture: Ian Burt Frank Lockey, a former Liverpool footballer died in Julian Hospital in Norwich. His wife Margaret and daughter Tina Lockey say he was neglected and had many unexplained injuries. Picture: Ian Burt

Speaking after the inquest, Miss Lockey, 49, said: “During the last few months of his life he endured unnecessary and avoidable pain and suffering.

“Nothing was ever done to alleviate what must have been a painful and undignified end.

“It is exactly what patient care looks like on the ward of a hospital and an NHS mental health trust repeatedly rated by CQC inspectors as inadequate.”

Miss Lockey said she would be taking her father’s case for review to the health service ombudsman.

Frank Lockey back in his Liverpool playing days in the 1957-8 season. Photo: Supplied by the Lockey familyFrank Lockey back in his Liverpool playing days in the 1957-8 season. Photo: Supplied by the Lockey family

Mr Lockey’s family expressed repeated concern over his care, including unexplained injuries, and overuse of sedatives.

At an inquest on Wednesday, adjourned from Monday, November 26, the coroner heard a statement from Dr Bohdan Solomka, medical director of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

He said: “All staff are trained in clinical record documentation.

“The refresher programme and training have been reviewed [and] changes have been made.”

Summing up, Ms Lake said: “Mr Lockey was not emaciated and only had superficial injuries which were due to falls.”

She returned a conclusion of natural causes, and said Mr Lockey’s died of ischemic heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, as recorded in the post mortem.

Dawn Collins, deputy chief nurse at NSFT, said: “The trust has been in contact with Mr Lockey’s family on a regular basis since his death. We took his death extremely seriously and carried out a detailed investigation, and have implemented the resulting action plan, centred on the need for detailed contemporaneous record-keeping and observations.

“We are pleased for the many staff who were involved in Mr Lockey’s care that the coroner concluded that there was not any evidence of neglect and that she was satisfied with the improvements we have made.”

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