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Doctor tells Coroner why she decided a seriously ill patient shouldn't be resuscitated

Dr Anna Blackburn, Consultant Physician at James Paget Hospital Credit: ITV News Anglia

A doctor at a hospital in Norfolk has been telling a Coroner why she decided a seriously ill patient shouldn't be resuscitated.

Dr Anna Blackburn, a consultant physician at the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston, was giving evidence on the second day of the inquest into the death of Michael Richardson. He died there in October 2013

Michael Richardson Credit: Family of Mr Richardson

Dr Blackburn said Mr Richardson - a 66-year-old great grandfather from Great Yarmouth - was unlikely to survive his pulmonary fibrosis and would probably die within a few months.

He was also suffering from pneumonia and because of his distressed and emotional state, she said she didn't discuss the subject of resuscitation with him because she thought it would be 'unnecessarily burdensome' for him.

Dr Blackburn said CPR on Mr Blackburn was unlikely to be successful and if even if it worked in the short term, his chances of surviving weren't good.

Questioned by Norfolk's Assistant Coroner David Osborne, she said it was because of patient confidentiality that Mr Richardson's family wasn't told about the do not resuscitate notice going on his medical notes.

James Paget Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk Credit: ITV News Anglia

His widow Janet is angry about that decision and has said he would have wanted to be resuscitated. She described the decision as 'very, very wrong"

At the time of Mr Richardson's death, the James Paget's policy was in keeping with national guidelines: that patients didn't have to be told that resuscitation wouldn't be attempted.

Nine months after Mr Richardson's death, the Court of Appeal ruled that doctors must involve patients in life-or-death resuscitation decisions unless doing so would actively harm them.

Michael Richardson Credit: Mr Richardson's family

Considering the case of Janet Tracey, 62, who died at Cambridge's Addenbrooke's Hospital in 2011 after an order was placed on her notes without proper consultation, Lord Dyson ruled that there should be a "presumption in favour of patient involvement" in such cases unless there were genuinely "convincing reasons" not to do so.

Dr Blackburn said that if faced with the same situation today, she would tell the patient she had very serious issues to deal with and in her opinion should not be resuscitated.

Dr Jim Crawford, Chairman of James Paget's Resuscitation Committee Credit: ITV News Anglia

Dr Jim Crawford a consultant and chairman of the James Paget's resuscitation committee, said Dr Blackburn had applied the hospital's policy correctly.

Looking at Mr Richardson's notes, he assessed his chances of surviving resuscitation at less than five per cent.

Even if he did, he said he wouldn't be well enough to leave hospital and it would only prolong death by a few days.

The Coroner is expected to deliver his conclusion tomorrow.

Two moved to burns unit after explosion

The scene of the explosion Credit: Tanya Mercer

Two people who were injured in a suspected gas explosion at Gorleston in Norfolk have been transferred to a specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital in Essex.

A man in his 50s and a woman in her 40s were initially taken to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, and have now been transferred, the hospital said.

The explosion happened at a house in Frederick Road at just after 11.30am on Thursday. An investigation is underway into the cause.


Two people in hospital after suspected gas explosion

The scene of the explosion Credit: ITV News Anglia

Two people have been taken to hospital after what is believed to be a gas explosion in Gorleston in Norfolk.

Firefighters from Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and a Search and Rescue Team from Dereham were called to Frederick Road around 11.36am today (Thursday 5th March)

A man in his 50s and a woman in her 40s were taken to the James Paget hospital with minor burns.

The gas board and UK Power Network are currently at the scene and have isolated the gas and electrical supply to the property.

Crews are still trying to make the building and surrounding area safe. People are being advised to avoid the area.

James Paget Hospital needs 100 women to participate in two-year breast cancer study

James Paget Hospital in Gorleston. Credit: PA Images

Breast cancer patients at a hospital in Norfolk who are over 65 could be part of a pioneering trial.

The James Paget Hospital in Gorleston needs 100 women to participate in a two-year study that involves offering older women lifestyle advice, such as on diet, exercise and smoking, before they receive surgery.

"The patients may feel as if they're on a conveyor belt of treatment. We want to individualise and personalise their treatment and address any issues that may affect their recovery and also their emotions of the journey throughout their treatment"

– Sue Down, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon

Man appears in court over fatal Gorleston stabbing

A man has appeared at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court this morning, charged with the murder of a woman in Norfolk.

A cordon set up in Sussex Road, Gorleston Credit: ITV News Anglia

Officers found the body of 50-year-old Lorna McCarthy at an address in Sussex Road on Sunday. A post-mortem investigation confirmed she died from a stab wound to the heart.

Barry McCarthy, who is also 50, was remanded into custody to appear before Norwich Crown Court on Thursday.


Man in court over Gorleston murder

A man will appear at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court today charged in connection with the death of a woman in Gorleston.

Barry McCarthy, 50, of Sussex Road in Gorleston, has been charged with murder.

Officers found the body of 50-year-old Lorna McCarthy at an address in Sussex Road on Sunday.

A Home Office post mortem examination has confirmed that Lorna died from a stab wound to the heart.

Woman found stabbed to death


Police have launched a murder enquiry following the fatal stabbing of a woman at a house in Gorleston, near Great Yarmouth.

Officers were called to an incident in Sussex Road at about 1.30pm. They found the body of a woman, believed to be in her 50s.

The property has been sealed off while officers carry out forensic enquiries and a man in his 50s has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He remains in custody at Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre where he will be questioned later by detectives.

We are in the early stages of our investigation and working to establish the sequence of events which led to this woman’s death. However, this does appear to be an isolated incident within a property involving the two householders.

– Det Chief Insp Peter Hornby, Norfolk Police

Appeal after straw bale set alight in Gorleston

Straw bale set alight in Gorleston. Credit: PA Images

Police are appealing for witnesses after a straw bale was set alight in a field in Gorleston.

The fire to the one tonne straw bale and a 100 metre strip of stubble in a field off Excalibur Road was started sometime between 6pm and 7.30pm on Saturday 9 August.

Officers are keen to speak to two groups of young people who were seen in the area at the time. The first group is believed to have been made up of four males described as white and aged around 18 and 19-years-old. The second group, of up to six males, have been described as white, aged around 15 and 16-years-old and in hooded tops and jeans.

Anyone with information should contact PC Pete Richeda at Gorleston Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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