The heartbroken son of a “kind and proud” woman who died following a stroke brought on by a medication error says he is determined to prevent any other families experiencing another “shocking example of negligence and incompetence”.

Heather Planner died at Wycombe Hospital on April 1, 2019 - just weeks before her 88th birthday - after she had been given another person’s medication by carers from Carewatch Mid Bucks.

Carewatch Mid Bucks provides local home care services in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Wendover.

Mrs Planner had been visited by Carewatch Mid Bucks carers at her Butlers Cross home four times a day so they could administer her medication.

An error at the pharmacy meant that carers who had gone to pick up some replacement medication for Mrs Planner had been given another man’s tablets – but they failed to realise, giving her someone else’s medication four times a day for three days.

Mrs Planner suffered a stroke and was taken to Wycombe Hospital – but she sadly died a few weeks later.

Jonathan Planner, Mrs Planner’s son, said a post-mortem investigation found that it was not the wrong tablets that led to her stroke, but the lack of her correct medication that caused it.

He is now determined to raise awareness about what happened to his mother – and says care providers need to be more “vigilant” with training and medication administration.

He said: “I cannot understand how a ‘trained’ care team can administer someone else’s medication four times a day over three days.

“The dossett box clearly had a man’s name on it five times. All the medication looked different to the day before, different colours, different shapes and different amounts, yet nobody questioned this.”

He says vulnerable members of the public are in “potential danger” – and wants everyone to be vigilant when it comes to carers administering medication to vulnerable people.

He added: “It could save a life if people are made aware to not always simply trust that the medication they have been given is the correct medication. If a local care firm has failed to do this properly others could be as well and people need to be made aware.

“We see hundreds of these types of cases each year but there’s never any learning, we just see another one a few months later, I am determined to try to make enough noise that real learning is done here and we don’t see a repeat.

“My motivation here is to try to firstly stop this from happening again, and alert people as to the dangers of simply assuming that you can trust the medication given to you by professionals, you should always read labels and always ask others around helping you to do the same, it could save your life.”

An inquest into Mrs Planner’s death in November saw Buckinghamshire Coroner’s Court issue a ‘regulation 28 report’ to Carewatch Mid Bucks – where the coroner believes that action should be taken to prevent any further deaths.

A spokesman for Carewatch Mid Bucks said the company wanted to “reiterate and express our deepest condolences to Mrs Planner’s son and all of her family and friends”.

They said: “Carewatch (Mid Bucks) was an Interested Person at the inquest into Mrs Planner’s death and we participated fully, answering all of the questions put to us by the coroner and her family.

“The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an investigation into this incident prior to the publication of their latest inspection report on our service in November 2019, when we were rated as ‘good’.

“In their report they acknowledged that we had reviewed the way that we support people with medicines; they also acknowledged that ‘all staff had received additional training to refresh their skills’ and that we had carried out our own internal investigation to ‘ensure the risk of a similar incident was minimised’.

“Given that we are now in the process of addressing certain concerns raised by the coroner, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

The CQC’s Head of Inspection (South Central), Rebecca Bauers said: “CQC can confirm we are aware of the death of Mrs Planner and we offer our condolences to her family at this time.

“We are aware of the inquest and we now have a copy of the coroner’s report. We will review this report and consider what regulatory action CQC may take. Until then it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Mr Planner has also raised his concerns with Bucks County Council’s safeguarding team and is taking legal action against Carewatch Mid Bucks.

A county council spokesman said: “We understand how distressing this situation has been for Mrs Planner’s family and offer our sincere sympathies. Any safeguarding concerns that are raised with us are always taken extremely seriously. We have procedures in place to ensure such concerns are investigated so that appropriate actions are taken.”