Death of Myron Hall- report criticises NHS investigation and care standards

Friday 5 June 2009

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On 4 June 2009 the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales published his report into the death of Myron Hall, who died in Royal Glamorgan Hospital of Cwm Taf NHS Trust (formerly the North Glamorgan and Pontypridd and Rhondda NHS Trust) on 5 February 2007.

Mr Hall, an electrician from Bargoed, was referred to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in September 2006 by his GP because of a suspicious lump in his neck. It took three months to diagnose a malignant tumour and doctors decided the best way to treat him was to remove half his tongue. A tracheostomy tube was put in his windpipe to help him breathe, but surgeons stopped the operation when they found the tumour had spread too far.

Mr Hall later began bleeding from a replacement tube that was inserted in the wrong place while he waited to be transferred to a specialist cancer centre for chemotherapy. The bleeding continued for a number of days but medical staff did not respond the complaints from Mr. Hall's parents. The wound was stitched when it was noticed the tube was not in the right place, but four days after returning to the ward Mr Hall suffered a "catastrophic bleed" caused by the tube wearing through the wall of an artery. Mr. Hall died despite the efforts of staff at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital to resuscitate him. When Mr. Hall's parents attended the hospital they saw their son covered in blood.

The Ombudsman's report said the initial investigation of Mr Hall's tumour was "slow and inadequate" and the nursing he received in relation to his tracheostomy "fell below a standard one could reasonably expect". The Ombudsman stated that "whilst no amount of apologising can compensate a parent for the loss of a son in such horrendous circumstances, I have nevertheless recommended that both the chair and the chief executive of Cwm Taf Trust should provide Mr Hall's parents with an unequivocal apology for the failings that occurred during the care of their son".

Mr. Hall's parents are represented by Kirsten Heaven of Garden Court Chambers and Astrid Coates of Farleys solicitors



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