Demand for answers over ‘avoidable’ death of Leeds grandma

Maureen Broadbent
Maureen Broadbent
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THE sudden death of a beloved mother and grandmother “could have been avoided”, her devastated family say.

Maureen Broadbent collapsed and died from a blood clot, two days after being sent home from Leeds General Infirmary.

Medics there had failed to take action despite alarming test results – which a coroner said was a “missed opportunity” to provide treatment which may have saved her.

Now the much-loved 59-year-old’s family say they are angry about the mistakes in her care and are calling for assurances from hospital bosses that lessons have been learned.

Her daughter Michelle Pickup said: “The anger does not let us move on. We still have no answers as to exactly what happened or why it went wrong.

“It was not her time and it shouldn’t have happened. She was not ill, her death was because of something which could have been avoided.”

Mrs Broadbent, from Austhorpe, Leeds, underwent a knee replacement operation at Chapel Allerton Hospital in April last year.

The surgery was a success but, a few months afterwards, she started to experience symptoms including heart palpitations and shortness of breath and twice visited her GP.

After the second visit in June, she was admitted to LGI to undergo further tests.

The following day, she was told her test results were normal and discharged home. However two days later she collapsed at the home she shared with her partner Derek Bell and could not be saved.

An inquest at Wakefield Coroners’ Court concluded that there were “subtle signs” of pulmonary thromboembolism – a blood clot in the artery that carries blood to the lungs – when she was admitted to LGI.

In a narrative verdict, coroner David Hinchliff said a risk assessment was “inadequately completed” and the results of a blood test should have led to further procedures which would have diagnosed the condition.

“This was a missed opportunity,” he said, adding that “Mrs Broadbent should not have been discharged home” and saying treatment may have prevented her death.

Her three daughters and wider family have now instructed medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell.

Mrs Pickup said: “Our mum is irreplaceable – to say her death came as a shock doesn’t even come close. It has totally devastated our family, and to think that she could be with us today if she’d been given the proper medical care makes it even more difficult to cope with.

“We don’t know what the hospital have implemented or what changes have occurred. We also want to ensure that any lessons are shared across the NHS so that no other families have to suffer like ours has.”

Warning signs for the condition include chest or back pain, shortness of breath, coughing, feeling light-headed and fainting.

A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are extremely sympathetic to the family of Mrs Broadbent and fully understand the distress they must be feeling.

“A detailed investigation was carried out by the trust following Mrs Broadbent’s sad death. This identified lessons to be learned, which have been shared with staff and have been subsequently audited to ensure they are being complied with.”