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Changes made at Derbyshire NHS Trust after death of much-loved Chesterfield man

The inquest was held at Chesterfield Coroners' Court on Tuesday.
The inquest was held at Chesterfield Coroners' Court on Tuesday.

Changes have been made at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust after the death of a much-loved Chesterfield man.

Donald Michael Lodge, of Tapton View Road, sadly passed away on November 24, 2017, aged 57, after collapsing at home.

Mr Lodge had his big toe amputated on his left foot in March 2017 after which he required further surgery and out-patient appointments due to recurrent infections and poor healing.

Unfortunately an administrative error meant there was a delay in Mr Lodge receiving physiotherapy which should have happened in early October but did not start until November 20. He passed away four days later.

The immediate medical cause of death was recorded as pulmonary thromboemboli.

At an inquest at Chesterfield Coroners’ Court on Tuesday, coroner Peter Nieto recorded Mr Lodge’s death as narrative and said that after hearing evidence it was not possible to find that, on the balance of probabilities, that his death would have been avoided had physiotherapy commenced from early October 2017 because he was at risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) due to his health conditions and no symptoms were noticed when he was seen the day before his death.

William Jones, chief operating officer at DCHS, said: "We are deeply sorry for the distress caused and would like to extend our sympathy to Mr Lodge’s family.

“We accept the coroner’s findings in full and have already taken steps to tighten up the process for new referrals into the physiotherapy service.

“This includes ensuring that all referrals arriving by letter are scanned and emailed to a central booking line, so minimising the risk of delays, as well as other new administrative safeguards for booking in and monitoring the progress of referrals.

“While the coroner said it was unclear if speedier access to physiotherapy would have made any difference in this case, such delays in treatment are unacceptable to us in providing high standards for patient care and we have taken learning from this as a priority.”