David Hawkeswood (deceased): Coroner finds failings in care provided at Alexandra Hospital, Redditch

23 August 2018

An inquest investigating the death of Mr David Hawkeswood of Wythall concluded on 21 August 2018.
Mr Hawkeswood was a fit and active husband, father and grandfather who was a keen member of his local golf club in Wythall. He was admitted to Redditch Hospital on 21 August 2017 after passing blood and collapsing with chest pain. The next day he was told by the cardiology consultant that he was fit enough to go abroad on his planned holiday in 10 days time. Three days later, on 25 August 2017, he sadly died in hospital after suffering a significant cardiac arrest. 

Mr Hawkeswood’s normal angina and blood pressure medication was stopped whilst in hospital. His heart condition deteriorated and he complained of chest pain on multiple occasions. Other test results suggested that his heart was becoming damaged although he was not seen by a cardiology consultant again after 22 August despite his worsening condition. 

The Coroner heard evidence from the cardiology consultant indicating that Mr Hawkeswood’s care should have been escalated and he should have been transferred to Worcester Royal Hospital. The consultant also gave evidence that his registrar’s interpretation of a heart trace was incorrect and the registrar’s recommendations in the medical records weren’t properly communicated. 

The author of the hospital’s serious untoward investigation report gave evidence that Mr Hawkeswood’s care was ‘suboptimal’ in certain aspects. He also explained, in response to this case, that changes have been made to certain areas of practice 

The Coroner identified failings in Mr Hawkeswood’s care, including a failure to identify ECG changes or act on them, a failure to identify deteriorations in his condition over two days, a failure to escalate his care to CCU or HDU and a failure to communicate the need for, or carry out, a blood transfusion.

Mr Hawkeswood’s family instructed Natasha Read, a lawyer specialising in medical negligence cases at Shoosmiths, and Anna Diamond, a barrister at Kings Chambers. The family are devastated to have lost their beloved grandfather, father and husband but appreciate the opportunity to ask questions surrounding his death.

Natasha Read hopes that lessons will be learnt from Mr Hawkeswood’s death, particularly in the management of patients with similar complex conditions whose treatment requires greater co-operation between specialists, to avoid deaths happening in these circumstances again. 

The family would be grateful if any queries could be directed to Natasha Read at Shoosmiths and would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult time. 


This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024

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