Newham University Hospital criticised for neglect after woman’s cancer death

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 March 2020

Newham University Hospital. Picture: Google

Newham University Hospital. Picture: Google


A woman’s death would have been avoided if medics hadn’t incorrectly deemed her unfit for surgery, a coroner has said.

Ibiyemi Ereoah died of natural causes made worse by neglect after she first went to Newham University Hospital suffering from stomach pain and anaemia in October 2017.

Senior coroner for east London, Nadia Persaud, has criticised Barts Health NHS Trust following the inquest into Mrs Ereoah's death which concluded on February 26.

Ms Persaud, in a prevention of future deaths report, stated: 'Had Mrs Ereoah undergone surgery in February 2018, her death on September 17, 2018 would have been avoided.'

The coroner slammed as 'inadequate' medical professionals' consideration of Mrs Ereoah's case during a meeting where a concern about a possible sarcoma - a rare type of cancer - was downgraded to a benign growth.

The woman's gynaecologist wasn't at the meeting and the thinking behind the decision was criticised as 'unclear', Ms Persaud stated.

An operation in December 2017 was also criticised as 'inadequate' because tumour and muscle wall samples weren't obtained.

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Medics also inappropriately relied on the biopsy result, discounting the possibility of a sarcoma.

There was also a four month-long delay in getting a review of her fitness to be operated on after Mrs Ereoah was 'inappropriately' deemed unfit for an abdominal hysterectomy operation by a clinical nurse specialist.

She continued to suffer severe anaemia until August 2018 when she underwent the hysterectomy shortly after which she was diagnosed with a high-grade uterine sarcoma.

Mrs Ereoah was discharged from Newham and readmitted to Queen's Hospital on September 10, 2018. She died seven days later.

Ms Persaud said neither an urgent service-level review of Newham's gynae-oncology team nor of staffing had been completed by the time of Mrs Ereoah's inquest.

A review requested by the clinical nurse took place 16 weeks later and not within three to five as it should have been.

A Barts Health NHS Trust spokeswoman said: 'We are deeply sorry for the delay in diagnosing Mrs Ereoah's cancer and pass our condolences onto her family.

'We accept the conclusion and matters of concern raised in the report. Following a full investigation, we are now working through a number of action points, including a review of gynaecological staffing levels.'

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