Probe demanded after mum’s death

Irene Bentley
Irene Bentley

THE DEVASTATED family of a woman who died days after medics dismissed her fatal condition as gout today called for an inquiry into her death.

Leigh NHS Drop In Centre and a GP gave Irene Bentley painkillers and sent her home after she complained that a blister between her toes was causing her right foot to swell up.

Mrs Bentley, 58, was later rushed into the intensive care unit at Wigan Infirmary suffering from acute sepsis (blood poisoning), where she died just six days later.

Now her distraught daughter Gail Broli is calling for an inquiry into the case to avoid other families facing the same trauma.

And Mrs Bentley’s partner, Mark Royall, says that the outcome “could have been very different” had she received proper medical care.

Deputy Wigan Coroner Alan Walsh recorded a narrative verdict following an inquest saying that Mrs Bentley died last August from blood poisoning as a result of a soft tissue infection, despite receiving emergency medical treatment.

The family has appointed specialist lawyers Irwin Mitchell, of Manchester, who are investigating how Mrs Bentley’s condition was missed.

The firm’s medical negligence expert Leena Savjani said today: “It is imperative that a full investigation is carried out by the Drop In Centre and GP practice where Irene received treatment so her family can get the answers they so desperately need.”

Mrs Broli, who lives in Hindley Green with husband Silvano, and six-year-old son Adam, said the cut between her mum’s toes left her in such agony that she was unable to continue with her job as a cleaner.

She also developed a fever and began to lose her appetite, prompting her to visit Leigh Walk-In Centre complaining of a possible infection in her right foot.

Instead, she was diagnosed with gout, prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and sent home by a nurse.

Over the next three days, her condition deteriorated and she was unable to eat, drink, stand or wash and dress herself.

It is claimed a GP then confirmed the diagnosis of gout made three days earlier, even though her condition had got worse. She was given cocodamol and stronger anti-inflammatories and sent home again.

The day after, Mr Royall returned from work to their home to find Mrs Bentley in pain and noticed that her lips, tongue and tips of her fingers were turning blue.

He rushed her to Wigan Infirmary, where she was diagnosed with a severe blood infection and septic shock. She died the next day.

Mrs Broli, a 29-year-old housewife, said: “We have lost a loving mother, grandmother and friend, well before her time at only 58, and we’re all absolutely devastated.

“I want a full investigation to be carried out at the places where my mum received treatment to see exactly what went wrong so things can be put right for the benefit of future patients.

“My hope is that through our loss we can force some change so no one else has to go through this unnecessary trauma, of losing someone dear to them in circumstances that we believe could have been avoided.”