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Hospital payout for bereaved husband from Romford

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 December 2010

The BHR Trust awarded Edward Cobb compensation following lengthy legal battle after his wife's hospital death.

The BHR Trust awarded Edward Cobb compensation following lengthy legal battle after his wife's hospital death.

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A DEVASTATED husband whose wife died in hospital following medical blunders which delayed a crucial operation has won compensation.

Edward Cobb, a 74-year-old Romford business man was awarded an undisclosed sum following a lengthy legal battle with the hospitals trust after a deadly infection spreading around Florence Cobb was missed.

Flo, as she was known to family members, was wrongly prescribed steroids at Oldchurch Hospital after suffering a perforated bowel.

The medication meant the true extent of her illness was not uncovered soon enough and the normally fit and healthy 66-year-old tragically died.

The Barking, Havering and Redbridge Trust has now apologised for the mistakes that led to the death of Mrs Cobb and said it is continuing to learn from them.

Her son Stephen Cobb, 50, said: “They should have operated within 24 to 48 hours but they left it eight or nine days. It can be quite invasive surgery, and even fatal, but as it was their inactivity caused her eventual death anyway.”

Flo suffered prolonged and uncontrolled sepsis - an inflammation related to blood poisoning - and was taken into the intensive care unit six weeks before she passed away on May 10.

She had been admitted to the hospital with a perforated bowel on March 2006.

The family have said they are still coming to terms with the heart-breaking loss of “a wife, mother, nan and sister,” and the knowledge it “could have been avoided.”

They hope their “long struggle” with the trust will prevent others “suffering the same tragedy.”

Stephen added: “My dad is still in bits over it now. It was nothing to do with the money. We just wanted to know if the hospital did everything they could or whether they did something wrong and it turns out they did something wrong, otherwise she would still be with us.”

Penny Fitzpatrick, from Gadsby Wicks solicitors, said “This experience has been tragic for Mr Cobb and his family. The hospital did not appreciate the seriousness of Mrs Cobb’s condition and that urgent action was required. I am pleased that they agreed to compensate Mr Cobb.”

A trust spokesman said: “We’re very sorry for the mistakes that were made in looking after Mrs Cobb and recognise that the consequences of those mistakes have been far reaching and will continue to be so for Mrs Cobb’s family.

We hope that the family can accept our apology, although we accept that this will never make up for their loss.

“The Trust continues to work hard to ensure that we learn from the mistakes made in this case.”

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