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Compensation for Family after Grandfather Dies in Hospital Blunder

Compensation for Family after Grandfather Dies in Hospital Blunder

The family of a grandfather who died of a fatal bowel condition has condemned doctors after they repeatedly misdiagnosed him with food poisoning.

Robert Norris, 57, was rushed to Queen Alexandra Hospital in the early hours of 11 March 2009 by his GP after suffering from severe stomach pains. When the grandfather-of-four was admitted doctors initially diagnosed him with gastroenteritis and dehydration with alternative diagnoses of pancreatitis and peptic ulcer disease also put forward.

The life threatening condition of an ischemic bowel, in which the blood supply to the bowel is blocked, was also noted as a potential cause but was largely ignored by the medical teams.

As his situation worsened several doctors reviewed Mr Norris’ case but despite mounting evidence they continued to support the original diagnosis of food poisoning. The patient was only sent for a CT scan more than 24 hours later when his condition deteriorated rapidly.

Mr Norris, a machine setter with Eaton Aerospace, was rushed to theatre after the scan discovered he had an ischemic bowel but it was tragically too late. He died at 8pm on 12 March 2009.

His heartbroken daughter blasted the medical treatment her father received by the hospital claiming it cost him his life. Kirsty Wyatt, 36, from Waterlooville said, “This situation has been devastating for our whole family not just because of the medical negligence involved in the diagnosis but also his pain and suffering.

“He was a good man who never complained so I knew he must be ill but for some reason the doctors ignored the signs and it cost him his life. The last memories we have of him are in that hospital and it is so sad for us all to remember the way he was treated in his final hours.

“You would expect a sick man to be well looked after in hospital but that just wasn't the case, I just don’t understand how the doctors and nurses could let him down so badly. After what we have experienced I have vowed to never use the hospital again, I just do not trust them after what has happened to my father.”

His distraught family instructed law firm Slater and Gordon after being angered by the treatment he had received at the hospital. The family has now reached a medical negligence compensation settlement with Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust, for the pain and suffering they have endured; the amount of compensation awarded was not disclosed. 

The Slater and Gordon Medical Negligence Lawyer dealing with the case said, “This has been a long fought compensation claim. Whilst the defendants admitted early on in this case that they had failed to correctly diagnose Mr Norris’ condition on admission to hospital they denied that earlier treatment would have saved his life.

“Mrs Norris and her family were distraught to learn that the correct diagnosis of ischemic bowel had been considered at the time of Mr Norris’ admission, but this diagnosis was dismissed and he was instead treated for gastroenteritis. It has taken three years to secure the settlement for the family and while it will never replace the huge loss in their lives, they finally have some peace of mind after the hospital admitted their failings.”

Mr Norris, from Waterlooville, Hampshire, leaves behind his wife Margaret, 64, two children and four grandchildren.

For a consultation with a Medical Negligence Lawyer call Slater and Gordon 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online and we will call you.

Slater and Gordon are a leading medical negligence law firm with over 1,400 staff and offices in offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Merseyside, Bristol, Newcastle, Halifax, Wakefield, Cambridge and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire.