Blackpool hospital's 'negligence led to preventable death'

Image source, Louise Johnson
Image caption,
Nobody at the hospital acted "proactively" in the care of Paul Wilkinson, the coroner said

A hospital's negligence in diagnosing sepsis quickly enough led to the "preventable death" of a patient, a coroner has said.

Paul Wilkinson, 45, was admitted to Blackpool Victoria Hospital in Lancashire with severe stomach pains.

The father of three died from multiple organ failure and sepsis five days after being admitted last May.

The hospital accepted coroner Clare Doherty's conclusion saying changes had been made since Mr Wilkinson's death.

In a statement it said its action had already led to significant improvements in the care of patients treated for sepsis.

Louise Johnson, Mr Wilkinson's partner, said his death had been "devastating... it's like a bomb going off in your life".

Image source, Louise Johnson
Image caption,
Mr Wilkinson's abdominal pains were caused by a colitis

Miss Doherty told the hearing at Blackpool and Fylde Coroner's Office nobody at the hospital acted "proactively" and nobody with the authority to act properly was present.

In conclusion, she said delaying sepsis diagnosis led to his death, which was of natural causes, was through the hospital's negligence.

Miss Doherty also said she would write to the hospital to express concern over staffing levels.

Mr Wilkinson, from Lytham St Annes, who was previously healthy, was admitted with severe stomach pains and given painkillers by staff but was not seen by a doctor for 13 hours, the inquest was told.

No consultant attended him for 54 hours and it was three days before sepsis was diagnosed despite the hospital's own guidelines.

Staff also overlooked vital sign tests and Mr Wilkinson's hydration.

Image source, Louise Johnson
Image caption,
Ms Johnson said she hopes those involved in her partner's care can "change their practice"

The inquest heard he was left in the hands of junior staff for much longer than the hospital's protocols demand.

The family's solicitor Leanne Devine described his treatment as having "more errors than I have ever known in a case before... a catalogue of errors over many days".

Ms Devine, from Addies Solicitors, said it probable "would have saved his life" had he been "seen by a consultant as he should have".

Ms Johnson said she hopes those involved in his care can "change their practice" and "think back on what they could have done differently."