Hospital failings led to death

Carl Nolan was born with liver disease and died aged 30 after a catalogue of errors which prevented him from having a life-saving transplant, the Public Services Ombudsman found. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board admitted 'below standard' care.

Man died as hospital didn't tell him he had liver disease

by Rob Shelley

The Public Services Ombudsman has ordered one of Wales leading hospitals to pay £5,000 compensation to the family of a 30-year-old Rhyl man who died, needlessly, from liver disease.

Carl Nolan was born with cirrosis of the liver and diagnosed with the condition a decade before he died - but no-one told him of the findings until it was too late.

Today Wales' medical ombudsman ruled that Carl's death was wholly avoidable.

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Health board admits care given was 'below standard'

A north Wales health board says the treatment given to Carl Nolan, who died of liver disease at the age of 30, was not up to scratch:

We have received the Ombudsman's report and accept its findings in full. The health board recognises that some of the care given was below the standard that should have been provided to the patient and family.

We fully accept the recommendations in the report and have taken action to address each one made. We are reviewing our appointment system and process, and gastroenterology care pathways to provide an improved and more robust safe service for patients.

We are also making sure that safeguard measures are implemented to improve our standards of engagement with patients while they are treated by the health service in North Wales.

– Angela Hopkins, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Hospital denied dying man 'opportunity to survive'

Carl Nolan, who was born with liver disease, died aged 30 after a hospital failed to inform him of his condition. Credit: Family Photograph

A man who was born with liver disease died at the age of 30 following a catalogue of errors by his local health board which - ultimately - prevented him from having a transplant.

Unbeknown to him Carl Nolan had cirrhosis - a life threatening condition - but when he became ill and visited Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwddyn, Denbighshire, staff failed to tell him about his complaint and he went without any medical treatment for several years.

Eventually when his liver was failing Mr Nolan was admitted to hospital but died three days later.

In a report published today the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales says: "Had he been treated three days earlier, Mr Nolan should have recovered from the infection and had a chance of receiving a liver transplant. This opportunity to survive and flourish was denied to him."

Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board has agreed to write to Mr Nolan's family to acknowledge its failings and pay them £5,500.