London coroner says he fears more deaths if situation not remedied
Initial report of which hospital was involved disputed by UCLH trust
A cancer patient died after he was denied an urgently needed transfer to another hospital because no bed was available, a coroner has said.
Michael Brennan was diagnosed with lung cancer at Whittington hospital, north London, and given a plan to be treated at another hospital if his condition deteriorated overnight.
But when the 80-year-old needed emergency surgery, Westmoreland Street hospital in central London was unable to find him a bed and he died on 24 October last year, a coroner’s report found.
The assistant coroner for Inner London North, Dr Richard Brittain, said that he feared there would be more deaths if the situation was not remedied.
The report was sent to the University College London hospitals NHS trust, which apologised to Brennan’s family in an initial statement.
However, UCLH later issued a statement saying an internal investigation had found there were beds available at its Westmoreland Street hospital and suggested another hospital trust was involved.
Brittain wrote: “In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken.