An inquest into the death of Mr Roy (Gordon) Millar held on 12 September 2016 has revealed a huge administrative blunder at Derriford Hospital where hundreds of neurology patients have been left at risk of “falling through the net” after not being allocated follow-up appointments with their Consultants due to a serious administrative error.
The inquest heard that for more than two years the Ward Administrators on Burrator Ward, which specialises in stroke and neurology patients, were not aware that they should be making follow-up appointments for outpatients because they thought that this was the responsibility of the Consultants’ secretaries. This has meant that hundreds of patients have been put at risk of not being allocated follow-up appointments with their Consultants.
Mr Andrew Cox, Assistant Coroner for Plymouth, said “The revelation that has come out of this investigation that outpatient appointments were not being fixed for over two years is something I have found deeply concerning”.
An investigation has been carried out by the Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust which has found that out of almost 4,000 patients discharged from the Neurology Department over a one-year period, 146 patients were not allocated follow-up appointments in accordance with hospital procedure.
Mr Cox has indicated that he will be writing to the Secretary of State for Health to see whether warnings should be issued to other Trusts and has requested that the Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust investigates whether any patients who were not provided with a follow-up appointment have died as a result of this administrative error. Any such cases are to be reported to the Coroner’s Court immediately.
The Trust has issued a sincere apology to Mr Millar’s family and has said that a range of measures have been introduced to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
If you feel that you might have been affected by this and have any concerns regarding the care that you have received from Derriford Hospital, then please telephone Ann Ball on 01752 292374 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation regarding your legal rights in pursuing a potential medical negligence claim.