He was then incensed to find the cause of death given as heart failure with no mention of the pulmonary oedema, which had flooded Balram’s lungs.
The businessman had to battle with hospital staff and send evidence to the coroner before a correct cause of death was recognised.
Following the experience, Jay launched The Patients Lives Matter Foundation and an online petition has gathered more than 5,000 signatures in less than two weeks.
This demands: “An independent body to investigate complaints against NHS staff and bodies.”
Around 100 families have contacted Patients Lives Matter to tell their own stories of mistreatment within the NHS. The service is currently responsible for investigating itself when a complaint is raised and clinicians may be asked to probe their own mistakes.
NHS Resolution says there were 13,511 clinical negligence claims and reported incidents in primary and secondary care in 2022/2023.
People unsatisfied with the outcome of an NHS investigation can request an independent review by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
Jay, from North Finchley in London, who held his son’s funeral one month ago today, said: “This is just not good enough. The possibility that a doctor can end up investigating his own mistakes means that there is a huge temptation to cover things up and not report the truth.
He claims: “When things go wrong, I think the attitude is, ‘Well, if we’ve made a mistake, ultimately the taxpayer will pay compensation and we can get back to business as usual’.
“This means mistakes are not learned from and get repeated. It would not be tolerated in any other professional walk of life. This is why we must have an independent investigation of mistakes.
“No family should have to go through the devastating experience that we have and I will do everything in my power to stop this happening to other families.”
Balram was 30-years-old but developmentally delayed, which meant his behaviour was that of an eight-year-old boy.
He was affectionately known as “Our Baby Balram” to Jay, mum Louise 58, and sister Umika, 25.
In July, Balram’s health deteriorated and he was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in London on the 18th when blood tests indicated he might have an infection.
Jay said: “This subsided but he began to suffer from oedema. This is where the body retains fluids and starts to swell up. They started to treat this by giving oral diuretics, which make the body expel fluids.”
He claims: “These were not working and they switched to intravenous diuretics, which were more effective. Then there was a Covid case on the ward. Balram was extremely vulnerable, Covid could kill him.
“We agreed he should come home but they were unable to arrange for intravenous diuretics. Balram was discharged on August 3. We had to rely on oral diuretics.”
“His condition deteriorated, so we took him back to St Thomas’, arriving at A&E on August 8 at 5.30pm. They took a chest X-ray that showed the oedema had worsened and spread to his lungs, which at 7pm were saturated.”
Jay claims: “It was not until one o’clock the following morning they managed to administer intravenous diuretics. It was too late. He was in considerable pain and distress.
He died at 4am. Had they arranged for a suitable diuretic treatment when he came home, had they administered IV diuretics in a timely fashion on our arrival and in response to his X-ray, Balram would still be with us.”
Then the devastated dad had to battle over the cause of death.
He alleges: “Not only had they failed to mention pulmonary oedema, they were unaware of the X-ray taken. They were not exactly sympathetic either.”
“Balram was here for 30 years because of the NHS care he received and we are grateful – but he was also taken away before his time because of the same NHS.”
A spokesman for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust said: “We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Balram’s family. Balram had complex health needs and had been under our care throughout his life. Any concerns the family have will be fully investigated.”
The Patients Lives Matter petition can be found here.
The petition to the Government is here.