Coroner writes to hospital after death of Haywards Heath pensioner

Accident and Emergency departments will be busy so people are advised
to use walk-in centres or NHS Direct if they are more appropriate ENGSUS00120131009130451
Accident and Emergency departments will be busy so people are advised to use walk-in centres or NHS Direct if they are more appropriate ENGSUS00120131009130451

A coroner is writing to hospital bosses after an inquest revealed a pensioner who suffered a head injury was not given a brain scan.

Penelope Schofield, West Sussex coroner, said she will be expressing her concerns to Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust, which runs the Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Sussex County Hospital after 74-year-old Anthony Turner was admitted to A&E following a fall – but was not given a CT scan.

Mr Turner, of Wickham Close, Haywards Heath, fell over in Horsham town centre on December 2, 2015, after spending the day Christmas shopping and having lunch with his wife.

He died at the Royal Sussex County Hospital on December 10. An inquest into his death was held at Parkside in Horsham on February 23.

Coroner’s officer Chris Clinch said: “Tony used a walking stick and he walked slowly but steadily. Mrs Turner was walking in front of him when she realised he was falling.”

Mr Turner, who also suffered from kidney failure and heart disease, was shaken by the fall and was helped by passers-by and paramedics. Mr Clinch added: “He was taken to Princess Royal Hospital, where he waited for four hours in A&E. He was not offered a CT scan.”

Mr Turner was given a plaster for his injury and offered a head injury leaflet before going home. However his condition deteriorated and Mr Turner was taken back to the Princess Royal where a CT scan revealed a serious head injury. He was transferred to Brighton, but died in hospital.

A post mortem confirmed Mr Turner died from a bleed on the brain – which West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield said would have been picked up had he been offered a CT scan at that stage.

A report by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust, which runs Royal Sussex County Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital, stated Mr Turner did not meet the criteria for a brain scan at the time

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, Ms Schofield said: “Death occurred following a fall on December 2, when he went out shopping with his wife in Horsham.

“I’m conscious of the distress that this has caused Mrs Turner.” She said Mrs Turner had concerns that there may have been a missed opportunity for diagnosis. who had concerns that had he been diagnosed sooner there may have been a missed opportunity.”

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