Family grief after mum died in op bungle

Christine Joyce Gatiss of Sidecliffe Road, Roker.
Christine Joyce Gatiss of Sidecliffe Road, Roker.
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A DAUGHTER says she has been left bereft by the death of her mother, after a procedure at Sunderland Royal Hospital went tragically wrong.

Catherine Bridges spoke out after Sunderland coroner Derek Winter announced he will be raising concerns with two North East hospitals and a Government minister, after the death of Christine Joyce Gatiss.

“Although my mother was 70 years old, she was youthful and lived her life to the full,” said Mrs Bridges.

“She was a wonderful wife, mother and gorgeous granny and the family are left bereft at this tragic loss.”

Mrs Gatiss, of Sidecliffe Road, Roker, was left racked with pain after the endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in July last year.

The inquest at Doxford International Business Park earlier heard that part of the retired teacher’s intestine had been accidentally torn during the procedure and she was struck down with a severe infection.

Doctors decided not to operate immediately. However, she went on to have a further six operations at the Royal, but died from acute peritonitis last September.

The inquest also heard that there was confusion over whether Mrs Gatiss was to undergo the ERCP at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, after an appointment was made there for her in error after a related procedure at the Freeman.

Mr Winter recorded a narrative verdict regarding the death.

Summing up, he said: “No one in the obvious confusion specifically asked her an open and honest question about what her views were about where she wanted the procedure.”

He added: “There were delays in the typing and delivery of letters, some of which did not reflect the reality of the situation and their timing and content was tardy and unacceptable.”

The coroner also said the delay of 96 hours in Mrs Gatiss’ treatment was “critical in her outcome”, which he felt could have ended differently.

He will now write to both hospitals and the Secretary of State for Health, raising issues of patient choice, communication, effective management of patients who are deteriorating and patient records.

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