Coroner blasts Trust blunder

Bolton Coroner's Court
Bolton Coroner's Court
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A CORONER has criticised health workers following the death of a terminally ill Wigan dad who had been given a prescribed drug.

Alan Walsh ruled staff at Bridgewater Community Healthcare had breached guidelines governing medical records and the storage of medication.

An inquest at Bolton Coroners Court yesterday found 44-year-old leukemia-sufferer Brian Wilkinson had died from the disease at his Alton Close home in Ashton on January 19 last year.

District nurse Rebecca Cowburn was called to Mr Wilkinson’s home after his condition deteriorated. During the course of her visit, she administered the pain killer medazalam. Several minutes later, Mr Wilkinson was dead. A pathologist found the medication played no part in the dad-of-two’s death.

However, Mr Walsh expressed disappointment at discrepancies over times and the amount of medazalam administered, that the remaining drug had not been disposed of correctly, that the district nurse had not informed the police or ambulance service of Mr Wilkinson’s death immediately.

He said in doing so, vital blood tests were unable to be undertaken due to the decomposition of the body.

Mr Walsh said: “I accept the events were distressing however you would expect district nurses acting on a professional capacity to be capable of recording correct information.”

A solicitor acting on behalf of the Trust said she took this warning seriously and would inform the trust.

Dr Stephen Wells, pathologist, said it was unlikely the drugs had played a part in his death and concluded he died of lymphoblastic leukaemia.

The inquest heard that Mr Wilkinson, who worked in the construction industry, had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2012.

His widow Nicola told the hearing her husband had been in good spirits but her condition deteriorated suddenly. Mr Walsh said: “I am satisfied medazalam did not play a part in Mr Wilkinson’s death.”