Doncaster hospital apologises after junior doctor's criticism of fatal motorbike crash victim goes viral
The family of a '˜bubbly' dad who died in a motorcycle crash say they have been left '˜traumatised' after a doctor who treated him at the scene criticised him on social media for not wearing a helmet.
Intake man Darren Neate died on June 8 after his green Kawasaki off-road motorcycle was involved in a one-vehicle collision on Armthorpe Road, near Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
His mum Charmaine Neate asked medics at Doncaster Royal Infirmary not to go into detail about the extent of the dad-of-two’s injuries because she thought she would find it too distressing.
But when she went on Facebook, Charmaine saw a post shared by one of her friends on the site that had been made by junior doctor Ellie Pierce, who treated Darren for his fatal injuries.
In the post, shared dozens of times before being deleted, Miss Pierce describes the injuries as ‘gory’.
Family friend Leaona Scully said learning of Darren’s injuries, especially in that way, had left the family feeling sick and ‘traumatised’.
In the post, which does not refer to Darren by name, Miss Pierce asks why Mr Neate was not wearing a crash helmet.
She said: “The thing going on in my mind at this moment? Not was there something that I could have done, because there wasn’t. But why the bloody hell wasn’t he wearing a crash helmet?
“It’s not a fashion statement, it’s because they save lives! This person learned the hard way.”
She finishes the post by urging people to wear a crash helmet.
Leaona, who grew up with Darren, says the family want an apology and are in the process of making an official complaint to Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
“The family are struggling to come to terms with losing Darren as it is, and this has just made things so much worse for them,” said Leaona, 27, of Shaftsbury Avenue, Intake.
“She’s a medical professional with a duty of care, so why was she even talking about this on Facebook. It’s just so unprofessional, I really think she should apologise as well.
“I think the thing that the family find the hardest about what she wrote is the fact that she says she wasn’t thinking of his care when she was there, but that he should have been wearing a crash helmet.
“I mean yes, his mum and everyone knows he should have been wearing a helmet, but the point is she was there to treat him so she should have been focused on that – and not on judging him.”
Richard Parker, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Quality at the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were made aware of the comment posted on Facebook by one of our junior doctors and we can confirm that action was taken immediately by a senior consultant.
“I am aware of the distress that this has caused the family at this time and have spoken to them and offered unreserved apologies on behalf of the Trust and the junior doctor involved. I have made clear to the family that these comments do not in any way represent the views and values of the organisation, and that the junior doctor completely accepts that the post was inappropriate and immediately removed the message on realising their mistake.
“As a Trust we have a social media policy that we ask our staff to adhere to and we expect the highest standards of professionalism from our team in all forums. We will be reiterating the importance of proper conduct on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to try and ensure something like this does not happen again.”
Darren leaves his wife Lisa Staveley and their two young children, mum Charmaine Neate and his brother John Lee Neate.