Medical Negligence: Hospital’s ‘Failure to Act’ Caused Death of Oldham Man

26th March 2013

Christopher Farrington was admitted to the Royal Oldham Hospital in 2010 after experiencing chronic renal failure.

However results of tests from the pathology lab weren’t acted upon because a wireless system linking patients to the coronary care unit had become disconnected and the fault wasn’t identified quickly enough.

Abnormal blood results that showed a need for urgent treatment – sent over when hospital equipment failed – were received by an unknown staff member, but they didn’t alert anyone or give treatment.

Following Christopher’s death the hospital has changed its procedures to try and ensure such a situation can never occur again.

The Coroner, in delivering a narrative verdict, highlighted both the extent of the hospital’s failure and the scrutiny that will now be brought to bear on its future actions.

He indicated that a failure to give a verdict of gross neglect did not mean the hospital didn’t act neglectfully.

Speaking about Christopher’s case, the coroner said: “His death may have been averted had there not been a failure to act on the results”.

“I have not included the word neglect, as in coronary terms it has to be gross neglect. I don’t believe the failure was gross, but changes that have come about following the death of Mr Farrington will be scrutinised by me very carefully”.

Fletchers Solicitors are working closely with the late Mr Farrington’s mother and family in order to achieve justice for her son. After suffering such a traumatic series of events and an overwhelming loss, the team at Fletchers will make the medical negligence process as stress-free as possible to take the weight off the shoulders of the family who are already going through such a difficult time.

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