News and Events

Family seeking justice for negligent death of father

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
  • Posted
  • Author
The family of Alan Hickman, who recently died after being starved of oxygen during his stay at Russells Hall Hospital, are now taking legal action against The Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Mr Hickman had been admitted to hospital in June 2010 and shortly after was diagnosed with pneumonia. His condition began to improve after the hospital performed a tracheotomy in order to clear his airways, however, during a physiotherapy session not long after his operation, his tracheotomy tube became dislodged.
After his death, the hospital informed his wife that the hole in his throat had been too big and the tracheotomy had therefore been leaking air, which was not helped by the tube only being held in place by stitches on one side. During the inquest into his death, it was heard that as a result Mr Hickman had suffered a cardiac arrest and he was starved of oxygen.
Whilst expressing their condolences with Mr Hickman’s family, the Chief Executive of the Trust, Paula Clark, has said however, “The narrative verdict given by the Coroner recognised that the procedures undertaken by the Trust had been both necessary and carried out correctly and that there was no criticism of procedures undertaken by the physiotherapist.”
A spokesperson for the family stated that the family hope that by pursuing this legal action, justice can be obtained for Mr Hickman and lessons will be learned from his tragic death to prevent such cases from happening again in the future.
This is a very sad case, however, with proposals for legal aid cuts looming, it is likely that such legal action will not be able to be taken if these current plans go ahead, as funding will be cut for clinical negligence cases.
If you believe you have suffered from treatment which was below a reasonable standard, we have a dedicated team of clinical negligence solicitors who would be happy to help you. Call now for free initial advice on 0844 245 6602.