Family win four-year fight for justice over QA blunder

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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THE family of a grandfather who died of a bowel condition has criticised a hospital after doctors repeatedly misdiagnosed him with food poisoning.

Robert Norris was rushed to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth complaining of severe stomach pains.

Robbie Norris, Kirsty and her mum Margaret pictured at new year's eve party in 2004

Robbie Norris, Kirsty and her mum Margaret pictured at new year's eve party in 2004

A day later, after being wrongly diagnosed with gastroenteritis, the 57-year-old died. His family have now won a clinical negligence case but say no amount of money could replace their beloved ‘Robbie’.

His daughter Kirsty Wyatt, a 36-year-old mum-of-two, from Crookhorn, said: ‘I can’t have my dad back – no amount of money is getting him back.

‘It’s devastating. This has ruined my life. He was the best dad in the world.’

The tragic series of events started on March 11, 2009 when Mr Norris, a machine setter with Eaton Aerospace from Crookhorn, was rushed to hospital and misdiagnosed with food poisoning.

The life-threatening condition of an ischaemic bowel – in which the blood supply to the bowel is blocked – was also noted as a potential cause but was largely ignored by the medical teams.

As his situation worsened several doctors reviewed Mr Norris’ case but, despite mounting evidence, they continued to support the original diagnosis.

Mr Norris was sent for a scan more than 24 hours later when his condition deteriorated rapidly. He was rushed to theatre after the scan discovered he had an ischaemic bowel but it was too late and he died that evening.

Mrs Wyatt said: ‘This situation has been devastating for our whole family not just because of the negligence involved in the diagnosis but also his pain and suffering.

‘He was a good man who would never complain so I knew he must be ill but for some reason the doctors ignored the signs and it cost him his life.

‘The last memories we have of him are in that hospital and it is so sad for us all to remember the way he was treated in his final hours.

‘You would expect a sick man to be well looked after in hospital but that just was not the case, I just don’t understand how the doctors and nurses could let him down so badly.’

Law firm Slater & Gordon helped to reach a settlement with Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust, which was not disclosed, for the pain and suffering the family has endured.

A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: ‘The case has been the subject of a clinical negligence claim against PHT and a settlement has recently been reached.’


LAWYERS said it had been a long battle to get the family some justice.

Rebecca Brown, clinical negligence lawyer, said: ‘While the defendants admitted early on in this case that they had failed to correctly diagnose Mr Norris’ condition on admission to hospital, they denied that earlier treatment would have saved his life.

‘It has taken three years to secure the settlement for the family and while it will never replace the huge loss in their lives, they finally have some peace of mind after the hospital admitted their failings.’