Fam­ily blast hospi­tal staff over ‘sig­nif­i­cant fail­ures’ in care

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHIAN LUBIN

THE fam­ily of Robert Hart have hit out at hospi­tal staff af­ter a coro­ner ruled that med­i­cal fail­ings were partly to blame for the Park­life his death.

Coro­ner Nigel Mead­ows ruled the 26-year-old from Rainow was ‘un­law­fully killed’ af­ter be­ing at­tacked at a mu­sic fes­ti­val in Manch­ester. How­ever, he added that fail­ures in med­i­cal care, in­clud­ing the mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of a CT scan re­veal­ing a se­ri­ous head in­jury, also con­trib­uted.

Record­ing a nar­ra­tive ver­dict af­ter the six-day in­quest, Mr Mead­ows said: “The de­ceased was un­law­fully killed, but there was a fail­ure to pro­vide timely and ap­pro­pri­ate ac­cess to ad­vice from either a neu­ro­sur­gi­cal spe­cial­ist reg­is­trar or an on-call con­sul­tant, and a sig­nif­i­cant fail­ure to ad­e­quately and ap­pro­pri­ately in­ter­pret the CT images, which con­trib­uted to the death but such did not amount to a new in­ter­ven­ing act.”

The in­quest heard how Dr Chris­tos Gkolemis, the on-call neu­ro­sur­geon at North Manch­ester Gen­eral Hospi­tal where Robert was ini­tially treated, ac­cepted that he had mis­in­ter­preted the scan and was wrong to can­cel an ur­gent trans­fer re­quested by staff.

Robert Mac­far­lane, an in­de­pen­dent ex­pert neu­ro­sur­geon, told the in­quest it was ‘very prob­a­ble’ that Robert would have sur­vived if he had been trans­ferred just two hours be­fore.

Speak­ing af­ter the in­quest Robert’s mother, Elaine Hart, said she felt as though her son had ‘died twice’ due to the prob­lems with his treat­ment.

She said: “It has been heart­break­ing lis­ten­ing to the de­tails of what hap­pened and we still have a num­ber of con­cerns about Robert’s care at North Manch­ester Gen­eral and Sal­ford Royal.

“Robert died twice, once at the hands of his at­tacker and once due to the hospi­tal’s fail­ings. We can­not come to terms with that.

“If he hadn’t been at­tacked, he wouldn’t have needed to go to hospi­tal, but with cor­rect treat­ment he wouldn’t have died.”

Speak­ing out­side of court Robert’s fa­ther, Al­lan Hart added: “A se­ries of er­rors con­trib­uted to my son’s death. Those ad­mis­sions of fail­ure we heard to­day took the life of my son. If I could change places with him, I would.”

Sal­ford Royal’s Med­i­cal Di­rec­tor Dr Pete Turk­ing­ton said: “The re­view into Robert’s care at Sal­ford Royal high­lighted that he did not re­ceive the high stan­dard of care we al­ways pride our­selves on de­liv­er­ing and we have apol­o­gised un­re­servedly to his fam­ily for this. Fol­low­ing a full and de­tailed in­quest, we were re­as­sured that the coro­ner ac­cepted the im­prove­ments we have im­ple­mented as a con­se­quence of our in­ves­ti­ga­tion and that he ‘could not add any­thing of sub­stance’ to the changes we have al­ready made.”

Robert’s fam­ily have taken civil ac­tion against Sal­ford Royal Hospi­tal over their fail­ures.

De­spite a num­ber of po­lice ap­peals, the man who threw the fa­tal punch at Robert is still at large.

Speak­ing af­ter the case, Det Supt Phil Reade made a new plea, adding: “We re­main ut­terly ded­i­cated to iden­ti­fy­ing and track­ing down the man re­spon­si­ble for this mind­less at­tack.

“We are just as de­ter­mined not only to find Robert’s at­tacker, but also the peo­ple who seem in­tent on shel­ter­ing him from pros­e­cu­tion.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion is urged to con­tact Greater Manch­ester Po­lice or Crimestop­pers on 0800 555 111.

●» Robert Hart pic­tured with mum Elaine, from Bolling­ton

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