The parents of a Leicestershire man who died after being discharged from hospital with painkillers following a cycling accident have spoken out ahead of the publication of former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s new book. Frank and Janet Robinson say the book, which highlights failures in the care of their son John Moore-Robinson, is “must read for all medical professionals”.
The 20-year-old, from Sileby, died of a ruptured spleen less than 24 hours after being discharged from Stafford Hospital in April 2006. The telecommunications engineer had been taken to hospital at the following a mountain bike accident at Cannock Chase – a case that was “extensively” covered in the book, titled Zero.
The bereaved parents, from Ellistown near Coalville, have campaigned relentlessly for justice for their son in the years since his death, leading health bosses to admit six key failings and more’ gaps’ in John’s care in 2014. Mr Robinson told LeicestershireLive: ‘If our story can help even one person, then this book does something to help.’
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John was admitted to Stafford Hospital – now the County Hospital – in Stafford, following his accident, and was misdiagnosed with bruised ribs. He was sent home after being prescribed painkillers, but collapsed hours later, dying of a ruptured spleen.
Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey and chairman of the health and social care committee, was acting as the country’s health secretary at the time. The book, titled Zero highlights the failures in the care of John and others across the country – aiming to help ‘the NHS learn from its mistakes’ and will be published on Tuesday.
Mr Robinson, speaking on behalf of the couple, said the MP had paid the family a few visits in the past and recently approached them about the book. He said: “Two months ago he contacted us to see if he could get permission to put John in his book – we said yes of course, then when he was done he sent us a copy.
“It’s a long article talking about the failings of the NHS that cause 150 unavoidable deaths a week. It’s a shocking statistic and it needs to be addressed – it really is.”
A death inquest was held a year after John’s death, but returned a narrative verdict. A second inquest held in September 2014 after an internal hospital report said John’s treatment may have been negligent.
Two staff members of the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital Trust legal department were investigated for deleting information about the death, but were later cleared. The coroner has identified six key failings and several ‘gaps’ in his care and bosses at Stafford Hospital have apologized ‘unreservedly’.
Mr Robinson continued: “There was a cover-up at the hospital and the trust was not truthful. This led to the discovery of several breaches which led to the preventable death of our son.
“There is significance in this book and I think it is a must read for all medical professionals. All we wanted was for the truth to come out and that is what we have. obtained.”
He added: “Every day is difficult 16 years later. But you learn to live each day as it comes.”