NHS trust in Northumbria sued for £200,000 over death of Rugby woman

An NHS Trust is being sued at London’s High Court for damages over the death of a Rugby woman.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 12:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 12:50 pm
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The executor of Maria White, 81, has launched the £200,000 claim against Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust seeking the damages for her estate and her widower, James White.

A writ issued at the court and just made publicly available says that Mrs White had a mastectomy and biopsy of her lymph nodes on July 29 2015 but then developed multi-organ failure caused by sepsis and died four days later.

Mrs White, of Harborough Magna, had her right breast removed at Wansbeck General Hospital.

Hours later, tests started to show the signs of sepsis, and she was transferred to emergency care at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital.

But her condition worsened, and she was marked as “do not attempt resuscitation” as she developed multi-organ failure.

Care was withdrawn, and she died on August 2 2015.

The writ accuses Wansbeck General Hospital of negligently failing to start treatment for sepsis early enough, and says it was in breach of its standards of care..

It says that tests showed that Mrs White had reached nine on the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) for sepsis – five is the trigger for sepsis screening – by 2am the day after surgery.

Staff are said to have failed to call a dedicated phone number and activate a Deteriorating Patient Pathway, failed to start give intravenous antibiotics, and unreasonably considered pneumonia as the suspected source of infection.

It is also alleged that hospital staff also gave her inappropriate antibiotics.

The writ says Mrs White endured pain and suffering before dying as a result of negligent treatment, including a delay of 80 minutes in starting sepsis treatment, and not being given the correct antibiotics for ten hours.

It says her chances of survival would have been 65 per cent or more if she had been given appropriate treatment earlier, and that she would probably have survived if she had been given the correct antibiotic sooner.