Northampton

Kettering Hospital fails to explain Victoria Harrison disciplinary action

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Media captionTracey Foskett said she wanted Kettering General Hospital to learn from her daughter's death

A hospital criticised over the death of 17-year-old who bled to death after surgery has refused to explain the nature of disciplinary action it says it has taken against staff.

Victoria Harrison was found dead the day after an appendix operation at Kettering General Hospital in 2012.

Coroner Ann Pember has criticised the hospital over missed opportunities.

The hospital released a statement saying it had disciplined and trained staff but refused to comment further.

Miss Harrison, of Irthlingborough, had been an emergency referral by her GP on 14 August, when she appeared to be suffering from appendicitis.

Texted boyfriend

An inquest held in Corby, which concluded on Tuesday, heard an artery was damaged during surgery but the surgeon had rectified the issue and the operation was a "success".

However, Miss Harrison had later texted her boyfriend from her hospital bed to say she was in pain and bleeding, and later that a nurse was "sorting it".

Not all nursing staff were aware of the bleed, did not routinely read medical notes and could not always decipher surgeons' handwriting, the inquest heard.

Her last written formal observations were at 20:15 BST on 15 August, nine hours before she was found cold, pale and unresponsive.

Ms Pember criticised the poor handover from theatre staff to the recovery nurse and in turn to the ward staff and the failure to carry out post-operative observations.

"Windows of opportunity to treat Victoria were lost - had these been acted upon the outcome may have been different," said the coroner.

"I believe her chances of survival would have significantly increased."

'Nothing brings closure'

Kettering Hospital said it had "strengthened guidance for hospital staff around post-operative care and observation/pain assessment", but would not comment further.

It said it had also worked to improve communication and handovers from theatre to recovery and on to wards.

It would not answer questions on how any staff were disciplined nor what the guidance entailed.

Miss Harrison's mother Tracey Foskett told the BBC she did not want people to lose their jobs over her daughter's death.

She described Miss Harrison as her best friend and said nothing would bring "closure" to what the family has endured.

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