Relatives Call For Lessons To Be Learned Following Granddad’s Death
The family of a former Cornwall pub landlord have called for lessons to be learned after his scan results were not reviewed, leading to a three-and-a-half year delay in diagnosing his kidney cancer.
Charles Herbert underwent a CT scan after he was admitted to Royal Cornwall Hospital following a fall at home. The results indicated abnormalities in his left kidney which suggested he had a tumour.
However, doctors failed to review the results and Charles was transferred to another hospital. Charles, who owned and managed The Shipwrights Arms in Helford for a number of years, found out he had cancer three-and-a-half years later following further tests.
By that time his cancer was not curable. The grandfather-of-two underwent life-prolonging treatment. He died aged, 61, in November 2016.
Charles’ family have now joined their legal team at Irwin Mitchell in calling for lessons to be learned. It comes after lawyers secured the family a six-figure settlement and an admission of liability from Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust regarding the failure to act earlier on the scan results.
Expert Opinion“Charles was a much-loved husband, father and grandfather and his death has had a major impact on the entire family.
“Patients and their families place a huge amount of faith in the NHS to provide a quality standard of care. It is incredibly worrying that the original scan results were not acted upon at an earlier opportunity.
“While nothing can make up for what the family have gone through we hope that this settlement will help them try and look to the future the best they can.
“We join Charles’ family in calling for lessons to be learned and for communication between staff to be improved.” James Pink - Associate Solicitor
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Charles and his wife, Maria aged 62, took over the Shipwrights Arms in 1987.
In October 2011 Charles was admitted to Royal Cornwall Hospital after suffering a fall at home.
After a CT scan confirmed he had suffered a brain injury, he was transferred to another hospital for further treatment. After a short stay he was transferred back to Royal Cornwall Hospital where he remained for five weeks.
During his stay and on his discharge he was never informed of the issues with the kidney.
In 2015, Charles noticed blood in his urine and following tests it was confirmed that he had cancer and that it had also spread. Furthermore, he was also told for the first time that the tumour had been evident on the scans undertaken in 2011.
An internal investigation carried out by Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust identified a range of failings in the care that Charles received, including that the CT report was not reviewed or acted on and there was no agreed process for reporting unexpected findings on radiology examinations to clinicians. It also stated that key lessons to be learned included the need for good communication between clinical teams.
Charles’ daughter, Vanessa King, 39, said: “Dad was a wonderful, caring man. His family meant everything to him and he would do anything for them.
“He loved his grandchildren, Bella and Oliver, and every weekday morning he would get up early to take Mum to work and then take the kids to school. He home schooled the children on days they were not at school and loved to teach them new things about the world. He was an incredible chef and loved cooking for the family and taking them out to try different cuisines from around the world.
“It was incredibly hard to see how cancer affected him and it was made even tougher by knowing that evidence of the tumour had been spotted years earlier.
“It is difficult not to think that we would have had more years together as a family if the tumour had been investigated and Dad received treatment in 2011. We are devastated that he is no longer with us to share more family memories and watch his grandchildren grow up.
“All we can hope for now is that the Trust learns from this as we would not want what happened to our family happen to others.”