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Family questioning cause of woman’s death at Newham University Hospital is promised answers

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:12 24 April 2020

Evadney Dawkins died at Newham University Hospital in August 2018. Picture: Courtesy of Evadney Dawkins' family.

Evadney Dawkins died at Newham University Hospital in August 2018. Picture: Courtesy of Evadney Dawkins' family.

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A family questioning a woman’s cause of death in hospital has been promised answers.

Walthamstow Coroners Court. Picture: Ken MearsWalthamstow Coroners Court. Picture: Ken Mears

Grandmother, Evadney Dawkins, who lived in Angel Lane, Stratford, died aged 77 at Newham University Hospital on August 23, 2018.

A pre-inquest review hearing to consider the scope, evidence and witnesses to call at a later, full inquest took place at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, April 21.

Graeme Irvine, area coroner for the eastern district of London, said: “The picture that is painted of Mrs Dawkins is of a formidable woman and I understand her death must have been a great loss.

“I’ve got huge sympathy with the Dawkins family. I want to make sure that they walk away from the inquest with all of their questions answered.”

Newham University Hospital. Picture: Zac MacaulayNewham University Hospital. Picture: Zac Macaulay

Mr Irvine called for more information from the family and Barts Health NHS Trust ahead of the full inquest.

This included what part of Mrs Dawkins’s hospital treatment her relatives believe contributed to her death.

Barrister, Jack Nicholls, representing the family, said: “The situation is that the cause of death given of bronchial pneumonia is not accepted.”

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Mr Nicholls also called on Barts to send the family its comments on claims there was a lack of monitoring of Mrs Dawkins’ kidneys.

Mr Irvine said he needed to make clear that any preconceptions people may have from representations of courts in the media need to be dispelled.

“A coroner’s court is not adversarial. I don’t want anybody to be disappointed or to have their hopes raised about the enquiries a coroner is allowed to make within the constraints of the law,” he said.

At an inquest a coroner determines who died, when, where and how they came by their death.

Mr Irvine also requested more information to help him decide whether the inquest should consider the requirements of the right to life under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

This came after Mr Nicholls said the family have insufficient information to make “nuanced submissions” in relation to Article 2.

Rohit Syed, representing Barts, said the trust was getting the information needed and it was “absolutely reasonable” to postpone making a decision on right to life.

Which doctors to call as witnesses also has yet to be decided.

The next pre-inquest review is on June 19.


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