Worthing Hospital probe into Littlehampton man’s treatment

editorial image

CANCER suffer Paul Sloan, from Littlehampton, has just months left to live after post operative treatment for a perforated bowl went horribly wrong.

Paul, of Bailey Close, has been left wheelchair bound as a result of a serious brain injury he sustained while being treated at Worthing Hospital, in August last year.

The 58-year-old, who has been valiantly battling against lung cancer, for more than a year, now says he has months left to live, after consultants at the hospital claimed he is no longer strong enough to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat the disease, following the incident.

Paul, formerly a full-time carer for his wife, Sally – who has chronic lung disease – said: “I am absolutely devastated by what has happened to me.

“I was told that, with treatment, I could have survived my lung cancer for another three to five years.

“Now I am too ill to have the chemotherapy and radiotherapy that was planned for me and could have just months to live.

“The brain injury has left me wheelchair-bound and needing nursing care four times a day. I spend most of my days either in bed waiting for carers to arrive or sitting in front of a computer and I rarely leave the house.

“I am now unable to care for my wife Sally.”

Paul was diagnosed with lung cancer in March, 2011, and while waiting to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy, suffered a perforated bowel. In August, 2011, he underwent surgery on his bowel at Worthing Hospital and when he was recovering in the high dependency unit, a central venous catheter (CVC) line was inserted into a blood vessel in his neck to administer medication.

When Paul started to show signs of improvement a decision was made by the hospital to remove the CVC line. It was after this that his condition deteriorated and a CT scan later revealed that he had suffered brain injury consistent with the blood supply being cut off.

Paul has now instructed medical negligence solicitors at law firm JMW to investigate the care provided to him while at the hospital, after NHS bosses apologised to him in a letter.

In it, Marianne Griffiths, chief executive for Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust – the organisation responsible for Worthing Hospital – admitted the laid-down procedure to remove the CVC line had not been followed.

However, Mrs Griffiths said consultants could not be certain the removal of the line caused Paul’s injury, and it was possible that the same result would have occurred if he had been lying flat when the line was removed.

Cathy Stone, director of nursing and patient safety, said the trust was seeking to address the situation and she expressed her “sincere sympathies”

Katie Nolan, a specialist clinical negligence solicitor at JMW, said: “Paul and his wife have been devastated by the fact he is now unable to undergo treatment to give them more precious time together.

“We are still in the early stages of our investigations but Paul and Sally have asked us to try to establish if the mistake made resulted in his irreversible brain injury.”