24 March 2016
Woman awarded six-figure settlement after hospital failings led to partner’s death
A woman whose partner died after medics failed to diagnose a blocked artery has been awarded a six-figure settlement.
Lawrence Wright, 40, was given steroids for suspected Crohn’s disease after he was admitted to Kettering General Hospital with vomiting and diarrhoea.
A scan revealed a blockage of the artery supplying blood to his bowel, but the results were not reviewed for more than a week and he was still waiting to be referred for surgery when he collapsed.
He died shortly afterwards – just over two weeks after going into hospital – on August 18, 2014.
Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has now admitted that if action had been taken sooner, he would still be alive.
Mr Wright’s partner Jessica McAllister says she is still waiting for a proper apology and reassurances that lessons will be learned to prevent another tragedy.
“I had a bad feeling the whole time he was in there, I knew something was wrong,” she said.
“I put in a complaint after he died and they tried to say they couldn’t have foreseen this happening. I knew deep down that wasn’t true, but it was only through legal action that they admitted it.”
“It made me really angry. Not only did they take Lawrence away, but they forced me to go through that fight to prove that they had done something wrong.
“Now they have admitted what they have done, they owe me an explanation.”
Ms McAllister, 27, who is studying English literature and creative writing at the University of Northampton, says she is still struggling to come to terms with her partner’s death.
They had been going out for five years, living together in Northampton and had talked about getting married and starting a family.
She added: “We were inseparable from the moment we met. I fell in love with his intelligence, his sense of humour and how much he cared about his family and friends.
“I was in shock for a long time and I still struggle now.
“I just want people to know so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“If your instinct tells you something is wrong, go with it. Speak up and get a second opinion.
“You can’t afford to take chances with your health.”
Clinical negligence lawyer Tim Deeming, from Slater and Gordon, who recently settled the case for an undisclosed, six-figure sum, said: “Ms McAllister suspected that mistakes were made all along, but the truth that his death could have been avoided is still devastating for her to hear.
“This case was about finding out the truth and her hope now is that the hospital will review its systems and practices to ensure no more lives are lost, and that wider lessons will be learned to improve patient safety across the NHS.”
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