In the course of a five-day inquest in which Vanessa Cashman of 12kbw acted for the family (instructed by Diane Rostron of Addies Solicitors), the Assistant Coroner gave a conclusion of natural causes contributed to by neglect.
Mr Wilkinson had been admitted to Blackpool Victoria Hospital on the second May bank holiday weekend in 2017 with abdominal pain and a suspected but undiagnosed underlying muscle disease. Despite a climbing white cell count, a high fever and unrelenting abdominal pain, infection was not suspected and the sepsis 6 pathway was not instigated. He was not seen by a consultant for 54 hours and was instead seen by a series of junior doctors. Observations were not done frequently and fluid balance charting and administration were not maintained. The Coroner found that Mr Wilkinson was showing signs of Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome on admission which went unidentified and he went on to develop sepsis. In a lengthy and considered summing up and conclusion, the Coroner concluded that there was a gross failure by the hospital to provide basic care which caused or contributed to Mr Wilkinson’s death. Such conclusions are rare and such a finding is indicative of the serious failings which were sadly experienced by Mr Wilkinson.
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