Kent hospital faces legal action over wife death

Image caption,
Donna Maben died of septicaemia at the William Harvey Hospital

A widower is taking legal action against the hospital that was responsible for the death of his wife.

Donna Maben, 33, of Ashford, mother of a seven-month-old baby, died of septicaemia at the William Harvey Hospital in Kent in May 2009.

At the inquest into her death, coroner Rachel Redman ruled that delays in operating and confusion over her treatment led to her death.

Ian Maden said: "They just weren't giving her the treatment you'd expect."

'Apologise unreservedly'

He added: "Simple things - lack of fluids - even me not being medically trained know that if you're taking in two litres of fluid and three litres of fluid are going out that's not a good thing."

Following the narrative inquest verdict, Steven Pompeus, of East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "The trust would like to take this opportunity to apologise unreservedly for Donna's death.

"The trust fully accepts the verdict of the coroner and would like to reassure the public that changes have already been implemented to ensure the same tragic outcome does not happen again."

Mrs Maben was admitted first to the William hospital on 21 April 2009 with abdominal pain and discharged three days later.

Two weeks later, after she had collapsed in pain, she had surgery on a twisted bowl that had gone gangrenous.

She died in intensive care of septicaemia on 11 May.

Last month Ms Redman wrote to Stuart Bain, the chief executive of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, with her concern that an operation was not carried out earlier.

Sarah Harman, the Maben family solicitor, said: "This was a treatable condition that Donna had and if it had been treated in time she would have survived and been able to bring up her little baby."

She added: "I'm concerned that although the trust has admitted responsibility for Donna's death that the number of mistakes that were made were so significant and were made by a number of different people that I don't think it is possible to simply change them.

"There is something wrong in the culture of that hospital and the procedures of the hospital that needs real careful consideration."

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