Hospital’s ‘sorry’ after ward death

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Bedford Hospital chiefs apologised to the relatives of a pensioner who the coroner ruled died after a string of hospital failings.

An inquest heard on Tuesday how Mary Irene Skinner, 75, of Sun Street, Biggleswade was admitted to the hospital after vomiting altered blood.

She had two endoscopies on the 29 and 30 of December but developed severe abdominal pain and by the morning of December 31 was severely ill and died while awaiting surgery.

After hearing evidence from doctors and nurses who cared for Mrs Skinner during her stay at the hospital the coroner found that a number of failings had resulted in the loss of chances for her to have further treatment.

The coroner also raised concerns about observation checks being carried out by unqualified healthcare assistants.

He found that a junior doctor failed to recognise just how much Mrs Skinner had deteriorated, and that there was a failure by nursing staff to monitor her properly.

On delivering a narrative verdict, deputy assistant coroner Thomas Osborne, said: “There was a failure to monitor her appropriately, a failure to recognise the seriousness of her deterioration and a failure to involve a senior review which resulted in a lost opportunity to render further medical and or surgical treatment.”

During the inquest Alan Lancaster-Dickinson of Bedford Hospital outlined the steps that have been taken to improve. He also apologised to Mrs Skinner’s son and daughter Keith Skinner and Karen Gladwell who were present.

He said; “On behalf of the trust apologies to the family. We did not give Mary the care she deserved.”