Hospital apologizes to grieving husband after death of his wife

  • Posted

Posted 27/05/2015

Sharon Allison 1397332402_SharonAllison2014CPX.jpg

The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital has apologized to the grieving husband of a woman who died after surgery, admitting: “We could have done more and our care could have been better”.

Nicola Tweedy, aged 54 of Pulham Market, died of a pulmonary embolism less than 48 hours after day-case varicose vein surgery at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in March 2014. The hospital has subsequently been criticised by an independent expert appointed to look at the hospital’s protocols and the care provided to Mrs Tweedy. The report described the protocols as being ‘very hard to defend’ and ‘needing to be reviewed urgently’. The hospital was also criticised by the coroner, Jacqueline Lake, at the inquest into Mrs Tweedy’s death in March this year, for not providing her with an extended course of blood thinning drugs in order to minimise the risk of a pulmonary embolism occurring. The coroner also wrote to the hospital requiring them to make other improvements. She set out her concern that, if they did not, further deaths might follow. 

Mrs Tweedy’s husband Chris has mounted a vigorous campaign since her death, holding the hospital responsible and demanding that they admit their mistakes. In their apology, the hospital’s chief executive Anna Dugdalesays: “You are right. We could have done more and our care could have been better. I offer you and your family my sincere apologies. We are committed to continuously improve and I have previously explained that Nicky’s tragic case has led to changes that will benefit future patients.”

The apology came three weeks after the hospital agreed an out of court settlement in which Mr Tweedy was awarded a six figure sum. This settlement was negotiated by his lawyer, Sharon Allison, a medical negligence specialist with Ashtons Legal. She comments: “Chris Tweedy deserves huge credit for the vigour and passion with which he has committed himself to getting the right outcome in his wife’s memory. Clearly Chris and Nicky were a devoted couple, and I know how much it means to Chris to have this admission at last that Nicky’s death could have been prevented. In this case, as in so many of the claims we pursue on behalf of injured parties or their families, an apology and the feeling that something will be done to improve the system in the future is the primary motivation for bringing a civil legal claim.”

In a statement, Chris Tweedy says: “I’m pleased that the NHS Litigation Authority has decided that it cannot and will not defend the N&N in regards to the care they provided to my wife. For us, this was all about ensuring lessons were learnt and about receiving an apology from the hospital. I’m satisfied that the N&N have learnt from this tragedy. I’m also satisfied that these lessons will be shared and learnt on a national basis. The chief executive has now given us as a family, a full, unreserved and sincere apology which we have accepted. I know the N&N does a great deal of good work, that their staff do care and that they work extremely hard in very challenging circumstances. Unfortunately and tragically it all went wrong for Nicky. I say to all patients, make sure you know the risks, make sure you know whether you are at increased risk and, if you are, make sure the hospital tell you what they are doing to minimise that risk. This did not happen for Nicky and we are devastated that it has taken her avoidable death for these improvements to be made.”


    How can we help you?

    Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible or to speak to one of our experts call
    0330 404 0749

    I accept that my data will be held for the purpose of my enquiry in accordance with Ashtons
    Privacy Policy

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    How can we help?

    If you have an enquiry or you would like to find out more about our services, why not contact us?