Hospital refuses to make death findings public

The findings of an inquiry, conducted at Kettering General Hospital, over the death of 17 year old Victoria Harrison in 2012 after a routine appendix operation is not going to be released to the public for fears of “endangering the mental health of staff”, a BBC report details.

Despite several Freedom of Information requests – including one from the BBC – over the hospital’s serious incident investigation, the hospital have revealed that they will not be making the report public.

The 17-year-old was admitted to Kettering General Hospital on 14th August 2012 after an emergency referral from her GP as she was suffering with suspected appendicitis. During the operation, an artery was damaged and although, at the time, this was rectified by a surgeon, she later complained of pain and bleeding.

Coroner Ann Pember has criticised the hospital and has said that, “windows of opportunity to treat Victoria were lost – had these been acted upon the outcome may have been different,” as some nursing staff weren’t made aware of the bleed, some didn’t check medical notes and others couldn’t read surgeons’ handwriting.

Under section 38 of the Freedom of Information Act there is an exemption to disclosure if disclosing information would endanger an individual’s safety or mental health.

Andy Sawford, Corby Labour MP however said:

“I’m concerned that information about what went wrong hasn’t been made available to the public. It is important to be transparent when things go wrong, and I will be raising my concerns with the hospital.”