A grieving husband has threatened to take legal action against the Birmingham hospital where his wife died after a coroner criticised medics for “gross failures” in their treatment of her.
Dean Harrop said he planned to take legal action over the death of his wife Jane at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield.
He spoke after Birmingham coroner Aidan Cotter said he was “saddened” at the way hospital staff treated the 30-year-old before she succumbed to a rare brain virus.
Mr Cotter said it was a “gross failure” that no doctor examined her for almost 12 hours despite obvious warning signs.
And the coroner said there was no reason to doubt evidence that staff failed to respond to Mrs Harrop’s screams for help, despite contradictory accounts from a staff nurse, Auriel Nyemitei Addo, and another patient, Jean Paul.
Confirming his intention to sue, Mr Harrop said: “The coroner recognised our concerns.
“We want to thank Jean Paul because, if it wasn’t for her, they wouldn’t have listened to us.”
The inquest heard Mrs Harrop, from Selly Oak, died on February 19 last year from inflammation of the brain and spine caused by a virus that had been present for at least two months.
Mr Cotter recorded Mrs Harrop, a health assistant, died of natural causes.
He found no neglect on Good Hope’s part because the failures did not sufficiently contribute to her death.
But he told the inquest: “I am deeply concerned that an entirely independent witness in a bed so close to Jane’s should be left with the impression that she was ignored by nurses and not examined by a doctor despite her obvious and real pain.
“I’m also very concerned Jean Paul was left with the impression the following day that someone at the hospital was warning her to keep her mouth shut.”
Mr Cotter said he would write to hospital bosses about the case.
After the inquest, Mr Harrop’s mother, Teresa Harrop, said: “It’s not going to bring Jane back but it may stop another family from going through this pain.”
The family’s solicitor Lucy Adams said: “The family are investigating a civil claim.
“They would like an independent medical doctor to look at the treatment she received and to see whether it’s likely she would have survived had she received appropriate care.”
Good Hope apologised to Mrs Harrop’s relatives.
A spokesman said: “We are very sorry the areas highlighted where the care given to Mrs Harrop, particularly the night before she died, fell below the high standards of care we aim for.”
Nurses now have to complete a new training module and a head nurse has been appointed to drive-up care standards, she said.