THE family of a woman who died as a result of “woefully inadequate” care at Basildon Hospital are set to launch a legal battle for compensation.
Grandmother Lyn O’Reilly, from Tilbury, suffered a fatal infection after a bowel operation, which should have been picked up by senior consultants. She died on August 31, 2012, aged 57.
On behalf of the family, solicitor Sarah Harman, said: “The family is making a claim against the trust.
”The family strongly believe that Lyn would still be alive today, at the centre of her family life, had it not been for the number of mistakes.
“It’s only right the hospital accepted responsibility into the serious failures of Lyn’s care.
“The family are expecting the hospital to make a full admission of negligence. That will never bring Lyn back, but it is appropriate that Lyn’s death was not in vain.”
Mrs O’Reilly’s brother, Dave O’Fallon said: “She was a caring woman who wouldn’t hurt a fly. She didn’t deserve the treatment she got.” Mum Rita O’Fallon added: “She was my best friend.”
The inquest into her death heard how she was put under the care of junior doctors, who had only been in the job for four weeks.
During parts of her stay, one junior doctor was caring for 130 patients alone during a night shift, which is still standard practice at the hospital.
Senior Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray has called for a ban on junior doctors being left unsupervised during night shifts.
Mrs Beasley-Murray, said: “There were very serious failings in the post operative care Mrs O’Reilly received at Basildon Hospital.”
Junior doctors raised concerns, but they were not acted upon by consultants and there was minimal senior support for junior staff both in the day time and night time.
Communication between nurses and doctors was poor, and the change in Mrs O’Reilly’s condition was not acted upon.
The inquest concluded a senior consultant “probably did not” review Mrs O’Reilly on the morning of her death.
On August 31, after days of complaining of considerable pain, Mrs O’Reilly was found collapsed in the hospital toilets.
She was found to have fluid in her abdomen, which was caused by an abscess which burst and caused fatal infection.
Her death has led to changes at Basildon Hospital, which include more nursing staff at weekends and bank holidays, better support for junior staff, and improved note taking.
The hospital’s medical director Celia Skinner said: “I offer my condolences on behalf of the trust.
“We will learn from this. As a consequence we have done much to improve the care and make it safer.”