Family blames 'perfect storm of inaction' for operation death

  • Published
Georgios Akritidis
Image caption,
Georgios Akritidis was working as a consultant-level locum at Glan Clwyd Hospital in 2014

The family of an 81-year-old cancer patient who died after surgery "went wrong" have said a "perfect storm of inaction" is to blame for his death.

Arthur Price Hughes died from major bleeding during surgery for a bowel obstruction in October 2014.

Georgios Akritidis was sacked from Glan Clwyd Hospital the day after operating on Mr Hughes, from Conwy county.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board apologised for the failings identified.

At an inquest, the coroner gave a verdict of misadventure, issuing a Prevention of Future Deaths report.

The inquest heard that concerns had been raised on four occasions about Mr Akritidis's confidence and competence and that he was placed under the supervision of another surgeon.

Dr Brian Rodgers, a forensic pathologist who performed the post-mortem examination, told the inquest: "During the operation something went wrong."

But Coroner for North East Wales and Central, John Gittins, said: "It's not clear if this was due to an error on the part of Mr Akriditis or a complication of surgery."

Image caption,
Mr Hughes's family gave evidence at the inquest in Ruthin

In a statement, Mr Hughes's family said: "We should have been able to ensure that when the time came he died with dignity, with the people who loved him around him."

The family added that a "distinct lack of training", "a lack of communication" and "support procedures for doctors in difficulty" had led to "a perfect storm of inaction and to the tragic events that unfolded."

"Hopefully now something might change and other families will not find themselves in this situation," they added.

Dr David Fearnley, Executive Medical Director at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: "We recognise the remaining concern of the coroner and will of course respond to provide the necessary assurance for the coroner and Mr Price Hughes's family."

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.