Sophie Watson acts for family in inquest into the preventable death of Miss Maureen Durkin contributed to by neglect
Miss Durkin was a 68 year old woman who tragically died following a bowel perforation which led to septicaemia. Following an inquest at Bolton Coroners Court, Assistant Coroner John Pollard found that the care provided by the hospital fell below the level expected in all major hospitals and concluded that Miss Durkin’s death was due to natural causes contributed to by neglect.
Miss Durkin underwent a CT scan which was reported 7 days later, and stated Miss Durkin had a bowel tumour. Upon receipt of the report, the hospital called in Miss Durkin immediately for emergency surgery.
On arrival to the hospital, on 28.04.23, the clinicians decided Miss Durkin required surgery to insert a stent. However, due to unavailability of the clinicians to perform this over the bank holiday weekend, the surgery was delayed.
On 02.05.23 it was recognised the scan had been reported incorrectly and in fact demonstrated a stricture secondary to diverticular disease which required alternative treatment.
That day Miss Durkin’s bowel perforated, and she underwent emergency surgery. Miss Durkin was subsequently admitted to the Critical Care Unit where she sadly died.
The coroner referred to clinicians’ evidence that, had Miss Durkin’s scan been accurately reported on 21.04.23 and the correct treatment been instituted thereafter, she would have survived.
The coroner found the care provided by the Trust fell below the level expected in all major hospitals.
In assessing whether there was neglect, the coroner found:
- there was a known condition for which action was needed;
- there was a failure to properly examine the scan of 21.04.23 which amounted to a gross failure; and
- that failure to act had a clear and direct causal connection to Miss Durkin’s death.
The conclusion was that of natural causes contributed to by neglect.
Sophie was instructed by Lauren Dale of Hudgells Solicitors.
Sophie Watson is a member of the Inquests and Inquiries Team at Parklane Plowden Chambers and regularly acts on behalf of Interested Persons at Inquests. Sophie’s full profile can be accessed here.