Grieving dad’s plea one year on from tragedy: we want answers

Stuart Mottershead.
Stuart Mottershead.

A grieving father says it is ‘totally unacceptable’ he is STILL waiting for an inquest into his son’s death at King’s Mill Hospital - a full year on from the tragic event.

Stuart Mottershead, of Mandeen Grove, Sutton, died on June 15 last year after being admitted two days earlier in severe pain.

He had previously been treated at the hospital for symptoms of pulmonary embolism in 2009 and was re-admitted in an emergency on 9th June, but discharged within a matter of hours.

Stuart returned to the hospital’s emergency care centre on June 13 as his conditioned worsened, but he did not recover.

Father Ian has expressed concerns over the standard of treatment his son received and an internal investigation into Stuart’s death has been conducted by the hospital as a result.

But an inquest to ascertain the cause of death has yet to take place, much to Mr Mottershead’s frustration.

“We have now passed the anniversary of Stuart’s death and as a family we’re still waiting for answers,” said Mr Mottershead.

“How can we get any kind of closure when we still don’t know what happened and why?”

A new coroners’ code of standards, introduced in July last year, means all inquests must now take place within six months, barring exceptional circumstances.

But because Stuart’s death was before that date, the ruling does not apply to this case.

He added: “The inquest was set up to be at the end of May, but then it was postponed because, I was informed, two doctors involved couldn’t make it.

“We have been promised an inquest will start on September 3, but who is to say the same thing won’t happen then? This could go on forever and my two daughters and I want some answers.

“I wouldn’t want any other family to go through something like this. We just want some closure and it’s totally unacceptable the anniversary has passed with no action.”

Dr Andy Haynes, executive medical director at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is confident the inquest will this time go ahead as planned.

He added: “We have enormous sympathy for the family of Stuart Mottershead and would again like to offer them our deepest condolences for their loss.

“The coroner will be conducting an inquest into Mr Mottershead’s death on the 3rd and 4th September. The Trust has undertaken an internal investigation into his care, which has been shared with the coroner and Mr Mottershead’s family.

“The relevant clinicians are keen for the family to have closure on Mr Mottershead’s death and will be present for the inquest in September.”

Lette Baker, practice manager at the Nottingham Coroner’s Office, said: “It is extremely rare for it to take this long for an inquest to be heard and we appreciate the stress this may have caused the family.

“The coroner (Mairin Casey) keeps an eye on cases taking a long time to process, but sometimes, as in this case where there has been an investigation, it can take some time to gather all the relevant information.

“In trying to establish what happened, as is our role, we need to have all the relevant information to proceed.

“The inquest was first scheduled for May, but witnesses from the hospital were unable to attend on that occasion.

“Sometimes we can be forced to summons people to attend, but we have been assured by the hospital that the relevant witnesses will definitely be in attendance for the inquest to go ahead in September.”