Pinderfields Hospital ‘neglect’ verdict

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A MUM who died after a “gross failure” by hospital staff may have lived if her symptoms were investigated earlier, an inquest heard.

Susan Summers, 37, died of complications from an ulcer after a six-day delay in treatment which has been labelled as “neglect”.

Mum-of-three and grandmother Ms Summers, 37, was admitted to Pinderfields Hospital on February 23, 2010, suffering from abdominal pain and vomiting, an inquest was told.

A procedure called an endoscopy would have found the ulcer, which could have been treated with drugs.

But an investigation of her symptoms was delayed for six days after a surgical opinion was requested, the inquest heard.

Ms Summers, of Devon Grove, Ossett, suffered internal bleeding, and after four operations, including a last-ditch attempt to save her, she died on March 25.

Her family said they felt her condition was not taken seriously enough in the early part of her admission to Pinderfields.

Her sister Clair Kuyateh said: “It is utterly heartbreaking to hear that had our concerns been treated seriously then Susan could still be with us today.

“Our whole family has been left devastated by Susan’s death. She has been robbed of precious time with her three children and her grandchildren, and her death has left a massive hole in all our lives.

“Nothing will ever be able to bring Susan back but we sincerely hope that by highlighting the tragic circumstances of her death, no other family will have to go through what we have.”

Recording a narrative verdict, coroner David Hinchliff said had there been a timely surgical review of her condition, the outcome might have been very different.

He said: “This vital omission does amount to a gross failure to provide or procure basic medical attention to someone in a dependant position, and demonstrates a causal connection with that omission and her death, which amounts to neglect.”

Tim Hendra, medical director at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, said a thorough investigation was carried out and changes to emergency care made following Ms Summers’ death.

He said: “We would like to offer our deepest sympathies to Ms Summers’ family for their sad loss. We are deeply sorry for the distress this has caused her family.”