RELATIVES of a stroke victim are taking legal action against an under-fire NHS trust over the “appalling and degrading” treatment he suffered in hospital.

The family of dementia sufferer Cyril Simms says he became severely malnourished and dehydrated after admission to the Lymington New Forest Hospital, run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust is refusing to comment on claims that doctors took 10 days to diagnose his stroke.

But the complaints have been taken up by medical negligence lawyers Irwin Mitchell.

Now the family of Mr Simms – who served in Burma during World War Two – is taking action against the trust.

The retired engineer, 90, died in December after spending the last few months of his life in a residential home. His death is not being linked to the standard of care he received at the hospital. However, Southern Health has admitted that mistakes were made and his family says they are hoping that lessons learned will prevent anyone else suffering the same.

Mr Simms, of Lymington, was taken ill in January 2015 and admitted to hospital.

According to his family he developed bed sores almost immediately, was often left sitting in a chair facing the wall and was too weak to pick up cups of water.

They also claim he was left to walk to the bathroom unaided, despite being at risk of falling.

Irwin Mitchell said Mr Simms’s daughter Jacqueline visited him in hospital and was horrified to find him “partially clothed, severely dehydrated and malnourished”.

Lawyer Eleri Davies added: “What Cyril experienced was a distressing and degrading ordeal brought about by a catalogue of hideous errors.”

In a statement Southern Health said: “Providing safe care is our utmost priority and we take any concerns extremely seriously.

“We acknowledge that some aspects of the care could have been better and have apologised for this as well as making improvements to staff training.”