Hotel faces legal action following the deaths of two elderly guests
Carol Whymark died shortly after being taken to hospital in an ambulance
Last month it emerged that staff at the Loch Achray Hotel in Callander sent Norma Francis, 79, on a 350-mile taxi journey home in April after she showed symptoms of gastric illness. The pensioner and her husband John, 81, made the epic road journey home – but on arrival Mrs Francis could not be roused and later died. But it has now emerged that, just three weeks later, the hotel sent home 70-year-old holidaymaker Carol Whymark in similar circumstances.
With staff suspecting she was suffering from norovirus, they sent her home to Suffolk in a taxi – but she died in hospital the next day. Her family has now instructed lawyers to investigate her stay at the hotel, booked through tour operator Lochs and Glens Holidays Limited. The company says it has launched a full investigation into Mrs Whymark’s case and has offered its condolences to her family.
Norma Francis was sent on a 350-mile taxi journey by the hotel after she got ill
We are in the process of carrying out an investigation
Neil Wells of Lochs and Glens Holidays
Her daughter Sharone Whymark, 47, said: “I just think it is terrible that this could have happened once, let alone twice. It’s disgusting.”
On Thursday, April 28, the grandmother awoke feeling unwell and wanted to stay in the hotel. But her daughter said the hotel staff told her 73-year-old father, Desmond, that his wife had norovirus and offered him rubber gloves to clean the room, and left food and water outside. The hotel then offered to pay for a taxi to take her home, without providing appropriate medical advice, the family claim.
The hotel will be investigated by Lochs and Glens Holidays
However, when they arrived home in Stanton, 450 miles away, Ms Whymark immediately called an ambulance but her mother died of a heart attack at West Suffolk Hospital the next day. A post mortem examination revealed she did not have norovirus in her system when she died.
The Francis family have also called for answers into the death of the mother-of-two after a post-mortem examination revealed she had contracted norovirus. Lawyers acting for the family are now investigating whether the hotel disregarded special guidelines from NHS Health Scotland, advising norovirus sufferers to stay indoors and away from others until 48 hours after their symptoms cease. Amandeep Dhillon, a public health lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, the law firm representing both families, said: “To hear that another guest has reportedly been sent home in this fashion, just three weeks after Norma’s death is both alarming and deeply concerning.”
Neil Wells, managing director for Lochs and Glens Holidays, speaking on behalf of the hotel, said: “We were extremely saddened when we heard that Mrs Whymark had passed away and extend our deepest sympathy to the family.
“We are in the process of carrying out an investigation into the circumstances surrounding her visit to the hotel.”