- West Country
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A grandmother who died from a massive brain haemorrhage could have been saved, were it not for a catalogue of errors from two of the region's biggest hospitals. Christine Smith from Braunton had symptoms which should have alerted doctors.
But Derriford in Plymouth and North Devon District in Barnstaple both failed to spot the seriousness of her condition. She died three days before a scheduled hospital appointment.
In a joint statement, the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust apologised to Mrs Smith's family.
Mrs Smith, from Braunton, had first gone to the North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple with persistent headaches, vertigo and numbness in the face. They were symptoms of two deadly enlarged blood vessels putting pressure on her brain.
When the aneurisms were detected, the mother-of-four was referred to Plymouth's Derriford Hospital.
Mrs Smith's daughter, Beverley Hopkins, was determined to discover what had happened with her mother's care at both the North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and took legal action.
"We were all devastated by her death but when I wrote to the hospital trusts and health ombudsman to find out what had happened and they tried to fob me off for two years it was another kick in the teeth.
"It generally felt they were trying to brush it under the carpet and after getting nowhere for two years I decided legal action was my only option.
Two NHS trusts in Devon have admitted failings following the death of a grandmother from a massive brain haemorrhage.
67-year-old Christine Smith died in July 2009 when doctors failed to recognise her 'red flag' symptoms and give her life-saving surgery.