Worcester Royal Hospital has been ordered to pay a six-figure sum to the family of a man who died in its care, after a compensation case led by Midlands law firm Challinors.
Nearly two years after 75-year-old Ron Withington died, leaving his daughter to take responsibility for the care of his widow, the hospital admitted liability and was ordered to pay the settlement.
Mr Withington died after an aneurism ruptured. The hospital knew it was likely to burst at any time, but the results of his tests were never passed to his consultant for surgery to be arranged because of administrative problems.
Sarah Corser, an associate solicitor at Challinors, represented the Withingtons throughout the case. She said: “Mr and Mrs Withington moved to Kidderminster in 2007 to be closer to their daughter, Julie. Previously, Mr Withington had been under the care of Good Hope Hospital and specialists there had diagnosed him with an abdominal aneurysm which was 5.2cm in size.
“In March 2006, Mr Withington was scanned at Good Hope Hospital, which revealed the abdominal aneurysm had grown to 5.7cm in size – he was told that surgery would be likely if the aneurysm continued to grow.
“In July 2006, Mr and Mrs Withington moved to Kidderminster to be closer to their daughter and her family, and Mr Withington’s care was transferred to the Worcester Royal Hospital.
“He underwent another scan there on August 8, 2006. Unknown to Mr Withington and his daughter, who accompanied him to his appointment, the scan revealed that the aneurysm was in fact likely to rupture imminently and that Mr Withington required urgent surgery.
“However, these results never found their way to the consultant in charge and no appointment was given to Mr Withington. He continued to have medical tests which were required in the event of him needing to undergo surgery at a later date.”
The six-figure settlement includes compensation for Mr Withington’s daughter and her family and provides for some professional care in the future. The settlement came with admission of liability by the hospital.
Julie Withington said: “I complained to the hospital and an internal investigation took place. Subsequently, it was accepted there were shortcomings in the hospital’s administrative systems and the actions of the individuals concerned. I still believe someone was not doing their job correctly and therefore should have at the very least been named, shamed and sacked.”
A spokesman for the hospital said: “We offer our sincere apologies to Mr Withington’s family. We have admitted liability and we are pleased that we have managed to reach an acceptable settlement.”