The family of a ‘vulnerable’ man who died as a result of a hernia despite visiting West Suffolk Hospital and his GP several times have described his treatment as a ‘catalogue of errors’.
Martin Denyer, 39, who had learning difficulties and mental heath problems, died on June 14, 2013, having suffering abdominal pain, diarrhea and sickness for three weeks.
An inquest heard how Mr Denyer and his sister Diane desperately sought medical attention at his GP in Lakenheath and West Suffolk Hospital multiple times as well as visiting the out-of-hours clinic, based at the hospital, and calling 111.
On Wednesday, Suffolk Coroner Peter Dean gave a narrative conclusion stating Mr Denyer should have been seen by his GP on June 12 when Diane phoned the Lakenheath Surgery but an face-to-face consultation was not conducted. He was also critical of the out-of-hours clinic and the inability of medics to get quick blood tests done, even though it is yards away from Accident and Emergency department.
However, Dr Dean said Mr Denyer’s symptoms were difficult to diagnose.
He said: “Martin’s presentation was a difficult and complex one. His untimely death was a tragedy.”
Following the conclusion, Mr Denyer’s sister, Diane, and her partner, Glyn Edwards, said Martin was let down by doctors, the people he trusted the most.
“He loved life, he loved his car and he loved his mum,” said Dianne.
“He would help anybody. If you went to him for help, he would help you - but nobody wanted to help him.”
Mr Edwards said: “It was a catalogue of errors. We all make mistakes but too many were made and a man had to lose his life because of it.”
Dr Pamela Chrispin, medical director with West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our condolences to Mr Denyer’s family for their loss.
“We carried out a full investigation following Mr Denyer’s death in 2013, and have made changes as a result.
“This included reminding staff to carry out specific tests when they suspect a patient is potentially dehydrated and making sure the family members of vulnerable patients or those with mental health difficulties are fully involved in consultations.”