Family And Medical Negligence Lawyers Call For Lessons To Be Learned After Hospital Trust Apologises For ‘Failings In Care’ Before Woman’s Death Aged 56
The family of a Smethwick mum who died from bowel cancer have spoken out after a Hospital Trust apologised for ‘failings’ in her care and admitted she would have ‘avoided’ months of pain and suffering.
Baljeet Kaur attended the A&E department at Sandwell Hospital in January 2019 with pain, vomiting and rectal bleeding. An X-ray was undertaken and she was discharged.
She was seen at A&E again around one month later, where an X-ray was performed and she was again sent home.
Following further hospital visits, a mass was identified in Baljeet’s abdomen. She underwent surgery to remove part of her bowel and was left with a stoma.
Baljeet was subsequently diagnosed with bowel cancer. She died in February 2020, aged 56.
Following Baljeet’s death, her devastated family including daughters, Neetu Kaur, 40, and Amandeep Kaur Bhogal, 38, instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their mum’s care under the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.
They have now spoken for the first time about their loss and called for lessons to be learned. It comes after the Hospital Trust admitted that Baljeet was ‘negligently discharged’ in January 2019 and again in February 2019. It further admitted that had Baljeet been diagnosed then, she would have ‘avoided’ two or three months of ‘pain and suffering.’
The Trust apologised for the ‘failings’ and ‘substandard care’ that Baljeet received.
Expert Opinion“The last two years have understandably been incredibly difficult for Baljeet’s loved ones. Neetu, Amandeep and the family have struggled to come to terms with losing their mum so quickly after her initial symptoms and subsequent diagnosis.
Their grieving was made worse by all the questions and concerns they had over the care provided to their mum prior to her death, and whether more could have been done to help her.
While it’s sadly too late for Baljeet, we welcome the Trust’s admissions. It’s now vital that lessons are learned to help prevent others from suffering how Baljeet did.
Neetu and Amandeep wanted to share their mum’s story to make others aware of the signs to look out for when it comes to bowel cancer. Early detection and treatment is key to beating this disease.”
Jennifer Shipley, Medical Negligence Lawyer
Baljeet first attended hospital on 17 January 2019, complaining of bowel problems. She was seen again on 22 February 2019.
Following several subsequent hospital visits, a CT scan in March that year found a mass in her abdomen. She underwent bowel surgery on 11 April.
Baljeet received a diagnosis of cancer 3 May 2019. Following further tests, she was referred for palliative care.
Baljeet died on 22 February 2020.
Amandeep said: “To lose mum less than a year after her diagnosis was truly heart-breaking and something we were in no way prepared for.
“She was the most loving mum and would have done anything for anybody. It’s really tough for us to accept that she’s no longer here, particularly after finding out it was terminal just one month after her surgery.
“Cancer is a terrible disease and it’s taken away one of the most important people in our lives. What makes it worse is that we feel like more could have been done to help mum and we feel we raised our concerns several times.
“We would give anything to have mum back with us, but we know that’s not possible. To watch her in so much pain and suffering towards the end was the worst, and all we can hope for now is that by sharing our story we can raise awareness of bowel cancer. Catching it early could be the difference between life and death for other families.”