Walsall Man Died In ‘Agony’ After Doctors Failed To Diagnose His Condition

Specialist Medical Negligence Lawyers Secure Answers For The Family


The heartbroken parents of a man who died ‘in agony’, less than five weeks after seeking medical care, have spoken out after expert medical negligence lawyers secure admission from the NHS Trust responsible for failings with his care.

Andrew Raybould was just 30-years-old when he died in February 2012 of severe pancreatitis, sepsis and multi-organ failure at Walsall Manor Hospital.

His parents, Geoff and Maureen, instructed medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate whether more could have been done by staff, within Walsall Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, to diagnose his conditions sooner and provide treatment to save his life.

Irwin Mitchell has secured an undisclosed out-of-court settlement for the family after the NHS Trust admitted failing to carry out a serum amylase test (which could determine Andrew’s condition). It was also agreed that he should not have been discharged from hospital without a diagnosis and that Andrew should have been admitted to hospital for further observations and investigations.

Andrew first began suffering symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and constipation at the end of December 2011 and on 3rd January 2012 his GP referred him to Walsall Manor Hospital for investigations as to the cause of his symptoms, but after examining Andrew, the hospital sent him home telling him to visit his GP the next day.

However, over the course of a month, Andrew was discharged from the hospital three times – each time with no diagnosis.

By the end of January, the bus driver had lost two stone in weight and was in constant severe pain. After being admitted to Walsall Manor Hospital again, he was eventually diagnosed with acute pancreatitis, acute renal failure and sepsis.

Andrew was admitted to the intensive care unit 29 January 2012 but he was too ill to undergo surgery and his major organs began shutting down. He died on 2nd February.

In January this year, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that extra measures will be taken by the NHS, Government and national health bodies to treat sepsis efficiently and effectively. GP surgeries and local health services will be audited and given access to specialist electronic equipment to help them improve practice in line with National Institute Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Expert Opinion
“This is a tragic case of a young man who had his life ahead of him until medical staff failed to diagnose his condition allowing them to give him the life-saving treatment he desperately needed.

“We are pleased that we were able to secure an admission from the NHS Trust for Maureen and Geoff to help them gain some answers as to what when wrong whilst staff at Walsall Manor Hospital were caring for their son. It is now important that the Trust learns lessons from this case to prevent the same mistakes happening to others in future.

“Sepsis is a devastating condition which causes the major organs to shut down, but if caught early enough, it can be treated with intravenous antibiotics. We are pleased that action is being taken by the Government and health professionals to try and improve the standard of care given to patients with sepsis, as new measures must be implemented to prevent unnecessary deaths from the condition.”
Tom Fletcher, Associate

Andrew’s mother Maureen, 59, from Aldridge, said: “Although it has taken more than three years, we are relieved that Walsall Manor Hospital has now eventually accepted liability for Andrew’s death and also admitted that if they had treated Andrew differently, he would have lived a normal life.

“This has been a devastating and traumatic time for us, but not as devastating as it was for Andrew, who was 21 weeks away from getting married and had a bright future ahead of him.

“Andrew was one of the 37,000 who needlessly die from septicaemia every year in this country. More needs to be done to stop these deaths. For us, it took two separate letters of complaint, intervention from our local MP, Sir Richard Shepherd, and legal action via Irwin Mitchell before the Manor Hospital even took our complaint seriously enough to get in touch with us.

“We are grateful for the help from our legal team at Irwin Mitchell. With their help, we have finally found out the truth about Andrew’s treatment at Walsall Manor Hospital, though we are still to receive an official apology.”