Man died while on year-long cardiologist waiting list

Matthew Colborn Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption Matthew Colborn died from a rare hereditary heart condition

A man's life could have been saved if there had not been a shortage of specialist NHS cardiologists in Gloucestershire, an inquest was told.

Matthew Colborn, 29, from Newnham on Severn, died from a rare hereditary heart condition in February 2018.

Gloucestershire's coroner heard he was on an almost year-long waiting list to see a consultant who would have fitted him with an internal defibrillator.

Only one specialist was working at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The inquest was told four or five were needed to cope with the number of patients,

Mr Colborn, who was suffering from arrhythmia, first collapsed in October 2017 and was found lying "still and blue" by his partner Tamsin Wear.

He was treated in hospital by doctors who initially thought he had had an epileptic seizure.

Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption The coroner heard Mr Colborn was on a waiting list to see a consultant when he died

When he returned to the neurological department for a review two months later, doctors felt his symptoms were probably heart related and referred him to a cardiologist.

By the time he died he was still on the waiting list to be seen by the county's only cardio electro physiologist.

The trusts' lawyer, Catherine Pennells, said there had since been "changes in resources" in the department.

In recording a narrative conclusion, Gloucestershire coroner Katy Skerrett said: "If Matt had been seen by a cardiologist it is likely he would have undergone further testing which is likely to have resulted in a diagnosis of arrhythmia.

"Matt could then have been fitted with a device to address this condition and it is highly probable that the device could have saved his life."

Ms Skerrett said she was considering sending a Preventing Future Deaths (PFD) report to the trust, in the hope other similar deaths could be avoided, and suggested the trust hold its own serious incident review.

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