Omissions at the hospital led to the man’s death days before his wedding

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The Parliament and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) said Andy Shewan’s death was “avoidable” and that he would have survived had it not been for “multiple medical malpractice”.

The 75-year-old and his fiancé June Richards were set to marry in January 2019 after 40 years as a couple.

But just days before their wedding, Mr Shewan, who had underlying health problems, complained of being unwell.

He was taken to the emergency room at Whipps Cross Hospital in north-east London.

Staff reassured the couple that their big day was yet to come, the PHSO said.

But Mr Shewan’s condition deteriorated and he was transferred to an acute care unit, where he suffered cardiac arrest.

He died the following day.

PHSO Rob Behrens said the hospital failed to take adequate action when Mr Shewan’s condition deteriorated and he was left alone in an adjoining room for more than an hour.

When the monitor showed “imminent deterioration,” staff failed to call an ambulance.

The ombudsman said an ambulance was not called for 25 minutes but “they were too young and didn’t respond”.

Ms Richards was not contacted in time to say goodbye to her partner, he added.

The 80-year-old said: “I’m very sad and very angry about this. It’s been three years and I still can’t stop crying.

“He died in pain and alone. It is so sad. I couldn’t say goodbye to him because I thought he was coming home.

“We used to say, ‘Aren’t we a nice little family, you, me and Lily?’ – our dear dog. Now I’m sitting here thinking ‘I lost Andy’.

“His death was avoidable; he could still have been here. I could have had him another week, or it could have been a month or years.

“They have taken so much from me that nobody can give it back to me.”

She added: “Andy was so caring and gentle. He was the nicest person to meet and would help anyone.

“People used to say to me, ‘Aren’t you lucky to have him?’ and I said ‘Yes’; then he would say he was lucky to have me.

“I live near the cemetery where Andy is and I still talk to him.

“I tell him I wish he were here and that I miss him so much. It took his life and ruined mine.”

PHSO Mr Berens also said there had been a delay in completing and sending an investigation report to Ms Richards and that the report “did not recognize the extent of the problems with care or provided assurance that reasonable service improvements had been made”.

He added: “This is a truly heartbreaking case. Multiple failures to provide proper care resulted in the death of a man just days before the happiest day of his life.

“The grief this has caused his fiancée June was profound.

“Nothing can change what happened or the tragic outcome. I hope our investigation and recommendations can bring some comfort to June and lead to changes at the Trust that prevent something like this from ever happening again.”

Mr Berens has made a number of recommendations to Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, including drawing up an action plan to ensure the various deficiencies identified do not recur.

The Trust was also ordered to pay Ms Richards £10,000 and to write to her “to acknowledge and apologize for not preventing Andy’s death”.

The 75-year-old and his fiancé June Richards were set to marry in January 2019 after 40 years as a couple.

Omissions at the hospital led to the man’s death days before his wedding

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