Terrence George Inquest – Update
Coroner calls on NICE to issue national guidance on the management of patients with gallstone pancreatitis
The Senior Coroner for the area of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Dr Emma Carlyon, has expressed concern that NHS patients with gallstone pancreatitis are currently at risk, as NHS Trusts fail to prioritise them due to other competing demands on Trust resources.
She has called on the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (‘NICE’) to bring forward, or adhere to, the current timetable for publication of national guidelines for the management of patients with this condition, to prevent future deaths, such as that of Mr Terrence (‘Terry’) George.
Details of the background to Mr George’s very sad case can be found here.
As part of the Coroner’s investigation, Royal Cornwall Hospital (the Hospital who cared for Mr George), were asked to write to 12 acute NHS Trusts without the South West, to see what, if any, local guidance they had for the management of patients with gallstone pancreatitis. The results were shocking: only 2 of the 9 Trusts who replied had any local guidance in place setting out the pathway for surgery for patients with this condition.
This is despite the existence of widely-known guidelines issued by The International Association of Pancreatology (IAP) and the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), which recommend that a cholecystectomy (operation to remove the gallbladder) takes places urgently after the diagnosis of gallstone pancreatitis.
Specialist medical negligence and inquest Solicitors, S J Edney Solicitors, have been representing Mr George’s family, in conjunction with barrister, Sophie Holme, of Guildhall Chambers, since July 2016. The inquest was held in Truro on 14 & 15 June 2017. In addition to representing the family at the Inquest, they were also assisted with a successful claim for clinical negligence against Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust.