Latest News & Views

Posted on 27th March 2017

Man died after being diverted away from Accident and Emergency

After going to accident and emergency on the advice the NHS 111 helpline, but when he arrived he was directed to a nurse who was working for a private healthcare company.

The 44-year-old dad died from a pulmonary embolism. The coroner said he would have been diagnosed earlier if he hadn’t been “diverted” away from the hospital’s accident and emergency department. 

Terence Moore, assistant coroner for Avon, said: ““Mr Birtwistle died of a pulmonary embolism having been diverted from an A&E assessment two days prior to his death. This meant that further tests, which could have led to an earlier diagnosis of his condition, were not done.”

The project was in its pilot at Bristol Royal Infirmary and was meant to help with overcrowding in A&E by sending patients with less serious problems to a “streamer”.

The project was suspended after Mr Birtwistle’s death in November 2016.

Mr Birtwistle, was interviewed on arrival at Bristol Royal Infirmary by a “streamer”, a private nurse working for Bris-Doc Healthcare Services.

He was given the option of a lengthy wait to see an emergency department doctor in A&E, or to see an urgent care nurse.

Peter Goyder, of NHS Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We have carried out very thorough investigations to establish whether anything could have been done differently.”