AN INQUIRY is underway after a family complained that a relative was operated on at Cheltenham General Hospital without permission.

Adam Barker’s grandfather-in-law, John Havis, 74, who lives in Leonard Stanley, has dementia and diabetes.

Mr Havis is being treated by the Gloucestershire NHS Trust and he was transferred to Cheltenham General from Gloucestershire Royal Hospital to have an operation to treat diabetic ulcers on his foot on June 8.

Mr Havis was diagnosed with dementia eight years ago and now his granddaughter Kelly has power of attorney for his care along with Mr Havis’ wife Glennis.

The operation included treating the ulcers by cutting out the infection in the sole of his foot and also amputating one of his toes.

Mr Barker says neither his wife Kelly nor Glennis knew anything about the operation or were consulted about it.

Mr Barker said: “We don’t disagree with the decision they made but that’s not our issue because the operation probably needed to be done, but without consulting us, they left an elderly gentleman with dementia really quite scared and frightened and not knowing what was going on.”

In response, a spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are sorry that Mr Havis’ family have concerns regarding the way in which the trust managed their legal power of attorney.

“We have an established process for recording and observing the requirements of a patient’s legal power of attorney when the family makes us aware of its existence, but equally it is something that staff should seek to establish on admission and particularly where there is evidence that the patient may not have the capacity to make their own informed decisions.

“We are investigating the specifics of this family’s experience.

“However, we have also already put in place more general measures to raise awareness of the need for families to tell us if a power of attorney is in place and that staff should routinely seek to ascertain this when a patient is admitted.”