9th September 2020 – Our Client Mr S from Kent lost his wife in September 2016 whilst she was under the care of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.
She was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital (QEQM) Margate on 29 th September 2016 with a six- hour history of severe abdominal pain. A scan demonstrated small bowel obstruction with poor distal enhancement.
Unfortunately, the Duty Surgeon, Mr Akhter failed to take into account the scan when formulating his management plan and instead of instigating urgent intervention for a potentially life threatening condition his plan contained no time frame at all for decision making.
In the absence of emergency surgery, very sadly, our client’s wife died of a cardiac arrest late on 30th September 2016.
Mr S and his family were rightly concerned that they had badly been let down by the medical profession. They complained and had a meeting with the Trust. The Trust did not provide a satisfactory response to the complaint and Mr S came to Fairweathers to obtain answers.
An expert gastrointestinal surgeon was instructed to piece together what happened and identified many errors. A further expert provided an opinion on Mrs S’s life expectancy but for the negligence.
A claim was submitted alleging that arrangements should have been made either for emergency surgery at QEQM hospital by 6:00 pm on 30 th September or for the timely transfer to Kings College Hospital, London to allow for surgical treatment there on the same day.
Had this been done, Mrs S would have survived.
The claim was admitted but the Trust questioned the post-operative period and the potential long-term outcome.
However, this did not hinder the settlement process and the Trust agreed to pay Mr S £100,000 in settlement of his claim.
Steve Evans, the Solicitor with conduct of this claim commented as follows:
“Even though this case settled the Trust’s lack of transparency during the complaint process is very disappointing. Moreover, a letter of apology promised by the Trust in December 2019 has still not been provided which is inexcusable”.
Mr S’s daughter commented as follows: “Although nothing can change the events that led to my mum dying an unnecessary and painful death. I can never thank you and your colleagues that have helped or have interacted with us enough, for enabling us to do this one last thing for her, in getting them to accept accountability for her death”.