Shropshire woman died after bed at specialist hospital could not be found

By Sue Austin | Newport | Health | Published:

Surgeons treating a woman who suffered bleeding following an operation said they tried to transfer her to a specialist hospital – but there was no bed for her.

Consultants from the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital said they wanted to transfer Patricia Allmark to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where she had had an operation for pancreatic cancer.

While consultants there accepted Mrs Allmark for transfer, they had no bed to offer her.

Mrs Allmark, 74, of Granville Road, Newport, died at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) on May 15, a week after she was admitted.

At the inquest into her death on Wednesday the coroner for Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin, Mr John Ellery, said he would be writing to the chief executive officers at both the Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Shrewsbury hospitals.

He said it was a case were Mrs Allmark may have had a better chance of survival had she been able to be transferred to the tertiary hospital. He stressed there was no criticism of the consultants at the RSH who did what they could.

He concluded that Mrs Allmark died from complications from a surgical procedure.

The inquest heard that Mrs Allmark fell ill after she was discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she had had surgery to remove pancreatic cancer.

Appearing at the inquest her family said she herself wanted to go back to Birmingham but ambulance staff, who made enquiries, said they were not able to do this and she was taken to the RSH.


Consultants at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Mr Andrew Houghton and Dr David Maxton, gave evidence to the inquest.

They said Mrs Allmark had intermittent bleeding and they asked for a transfer to the Queen Elizabeth.

Mr Houghton said: “As a vascular surgeon if my patients have complications I accept them back because I am the one who carried out the operation.

“Surgeons at the Queen Elizabeth want to do the same and I understand they have been told by management there is not the space to do this. This is totally unacceptable.”

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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