Jeremy Hunt apologises to Mallalieu family over treatment mistakes

John Mallalieu and his wife Ruth Mallalieu Image copyright family handout
Image caption John Mallalieu did not receive treatment for almost three hours

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has personally apologised to the family of a stroke patient who was turned away from a hospital's specialist unit.

John Mallalieu, 89, from Caunton, died in December, two weeks after his ambulance was diverted from a hospital near Mansfield to Nottingham.

A report said a "catalogue of errors" had led to an "unacceptable delay" in him getting treatment.

Mr Hunt said lessons had been learnt from the "catastrophic mistakes".

An ambulance took 90 minutes to arrive and then staff at the specialist stroke unit at King's Mill Hospital, near Mansfield, told paramedics they were able to accept Mr Mallalieu.

However, staff called back to say they were due to close for the weekend and diverted the ambulance to Nottingham City Hospital.

Image caption Jeremy Hunt said lessons had been learnt from what happened

Mr Mallalieu did not receive treatment for almost three hours and died two weeks later in intensive care.

Speaking to BBC Nottingham, Mr Hunt said the patient's family had been "badly let down".

"I would personally like to apologise for what happened. It was totally unacceptable," he said.

"A whole series of catastrophic mistakes were made.

"Nothing we say can bring back Mr Mallalieu or make up for what happened, but I want to make sure we learn every single lesson so that it can never ever happen again.

"The best comfort we can give Mrs Mallalieu in this horrible situation is the assurance that the NHS has learnt from what happened."

Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust which runs King's Mill Hospital and the East Midlands Ambulance Service said no individual would be disciplined for the mistakes.

The organisations blamed "systematic" or "organisational" errors for the mistakes and said changes had been made.

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