- Linda Lloyd, 63, needed to be dealt with immediately at emergency ward
- But it took more than six hours for a vital scan to be done, inquest heard
- Mrs Lloyd had suffered a brain haemorrhage and died the following evening
- Coroner says outcome may have been different if she wasn’t forced to wait
Linda Lloyd died from a brain haemorrhage after a six hour wait in A&E
A woman who should have been seen within ten minutes of arriving at A&E died after it took more than six hours for her to receive a vital scan, an inquest heard.
Linda Lloyd, 63, needed to be dealt with immediately at an emergency ward but waited two-and-a-half hours. She then had to wait a further four hours before a vital scan was ordered at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
She died after being transferred to Royal Preston Hospital and tests showed Mrs Lloyd, from Blackpool, Lancashire, had suffered a significant brain haemorrhage.
Her family say her treatment was ‘disgusting’ and Blackpool coroner Alan Wilson demanded answers from hospital chiefs.
Speaking at an inquest he said the outcome may have been very different had the patient not been forced to wait an ‘unacceptable’ length of time.
He said: ‘In my opinion it is vital Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust undertake a review of this case to address the areas highlighted to ensure that any future patients like Mrs Lloyd with time critical neurosurgical lesions have prompt assessment, investigation, referral and transfer to optimise for a better outcome.’
Mrs Lloyd’s sister Ann Day said the level of care her sister was given was ‘disgusting’, adding she now had no trust in the hospital.
Mrs Day said: ‘It is disgusting the way she was treated. Linda should have had a CT scan within the first hour, but despite arriving at 7.15pm, was not scanned until the early hours of the morning – all those hours were lost.
‘You see it on TV – act fast. You put your faith in the hospital thinking everything is going to be OK. It makes you scared. There is no trust in the hospital Trust.
‘Linda was my best friend. We were very close and she was caring and considerate. There is not a day that goes by when I do not think about her.’
Paramedics were called to Mrs Lloyd’s home on the evening of January 2, where she was found lying on her bed unable to talk.
Mrs Lloyd was left on a trolley for hours awaiting treatment despite services admitting her on the discovery she had suffered three heart attacks in the last year, and was fitted with a defibrillator and pacemaker.
The former advertising representative was given an orange priority warning on arrival at A&E, meaning she should have been seen within 10 minutes.
Mrs Day complained to staff after an initial 45-minute wait, only to be told Mrs Lloyd was in a queue behind three other people.
The seriously ill patient then waited until midnight for a scan which led to her transfer into critical care at the second hospital where she later died the following evening.
A report into Mrs Lloyd’s death was written by A&E consultant Peter Goode, saying checks to discover consciousness had been ignored.
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Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where delays meant patient Linda Lloyd waited six hours for a vital scan
The report added: ‘While the use of the Manchester Triage System was correct, designating a patient as “very urgent” (to be seen in 10 minutes) and doing nothing about it is completely unacceptable.
‘It is also unacceptable that it was more than two hours before Mrs Lloyd had a second Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) recorded by the examining doctor then there was a further long delay before the GCS was taken again and recorded on an observation chart.
‘The bleeding that was occurring was a dynamic process and repeated neurological observations are vital to pick up an evolving deterioration in GCS.’
After the delays at Blackpool, Mrs Lloyd was taken to Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire (pictured) where she died
Mr Goode added the prognosis of brain haemmorhages was long considered to be poor, with survival rates of just ten per cent, but recent studies showed the importance of rapid diagnosis.
Blackpool NHS Trust chose not to attend the inquest, saying in a letter it accepted the report’s findings.
It said a junior staff nurse had not been aware of the procedure around an orange priority patient, adding only senior nursing staff now work in triage.
Giving a narrative verdict, Mr Wilson told the inquest: ‘Mrs Lloyd was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed and assessed as a very urgent priority.
‘She was assessed by a doctor at 22.12 hours and a CT scan was not reported on until 1.15am which confirmed a haemorrhage. She was not fit to send in for surgery.
‘There was a delay in treatment which could have affected the outcome.’
The coroner added: ‘I am encouraged by the fact there is work being undertaken by way of a review but not to the extent I will not be writing to the Trust.
‘I do feel as though the law requires me to make a report to the Trust as there are concerns there may be similar occurrences. I will be writing to the Trust and the Trust will have 56 days to respond.
‘The correspondence will be, I accept, the verdict from Mr Goode and I am concerned about the risk of further occurrences.’
A spokesman for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘The Trust has accepted the findings of the independent report into this case and would like to pass on its sincere condolences to the family of Mrs Lloyd.
‘The report highlighted areas of care that could have been improved and the Trust is committed to learning from these incidents.’