South West Wales

Prisoner James Colton's death prompts changes, inquest told

James Colton
Image caption James Colton died in hospital in August 2013

The death of a murderer whose cancer was discovered two days before he died has led to changes in prison procedure, an inquest heard.

James Paul Colton, 34, from Swansea, died in hospital after complaining about back pain for months.

He was serving life for the murder of a friend following a drunken argument.

The inquest at Worcestershire Coroners' Court heard that healthcare staff at Long Lartin prison accept they failed in a duty of care to Colton.

He died four months after he was transferred from Cardiff prison, jurors at the hearing were told.

Previously, the inquest in Stourport-on-Severn heard that an inmate had told staff that Colton was "exaggerating his pain" in order to get out of the prison.

GP and nursing experts who compiled reports for the coroner, Geraint Williams, concluded that the quality of care received by Colton fell below acceptable standards.

In extracts read out to the jury, they said that Colton's pain level and worsening condition should have been properly assessed and the failure to do so meant that "significant milestones" in his illness, and an opportunity to provide him with effective palliative care, had been missed.

Sarah Campbell, a mental health development lead nurse at the prison, said that "a whole range of changes in protocol, procedure and practice" had emerged from staff "dismay" about what had happened.

The inquest continues.

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