Parents weep over new inquest delay
The parents of a 20-year-old man who died after he was misdiagnosed by staff at the scandal-hit Stafford Hospital wept today as a coroner dramatically adjourned a second inquest into his death.
Frank and Janet Robinson said they were "shocked and speechless" after the new hearing into the death of their son, John Moore-Robinson, which they had long campaigned for, was abruptly halted.
Mr Moore-Robinson was treated in the A&E department at Stafford Hospital in April 2006 after a mountain biking accident in Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.
The cyclist died after staff at the hospital failed to diagnose a ruptured spleen and sent him home, where he collapsed and died less than 24 hours later.
An inquest held in 2007 recorded a narrative verdict but his parents, from Coalville, Leicestershire, campaigned for a fresh hearing after new evidence came to light.
An internal report by the hospital after the initial inquest said the treatment Mr Moore-Robinson received may have been negligent.
Last year the High Court quashed the findings of the original inquest and ruled that a new hearing could take place.
A new inquest listed for four days started at Leicester Town Hall opened yesterday but today Coroner Catherine Mason was forced to adjourn the hearing, so attempts could be made to trace further possible witnesses who had come to light.
Ms Mason called on David Lewis, representing the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which ran Stafford Hospital, to provide a full list of staff who had been on the rota on April 1 2006.
She told him: "I want proper and open disclosure of anyone who was involved in April 2006. I will make that clear again."
Mr Lewis apologised to Mr Moore-Robinson's family on behalf of the trust.
Mr Moore-Robinson was treated at Stafford Hospital on April 1 2006, after he was thrown from his bike.
He was diagnosed with bruised ribs and discharged within hours of arriving at the hospital.
The telecommuncations engineer collapsed at his home in Sileby, Leicestershire, in the early hours of April 2. He was pronounced dead at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Ms Mason told the inquest today that there were at least two more nurses and a doctor who had been on the rota at Stafford Hospital on the day Mr Moore-Robinson was treated and whom they would want to try to contact.
Ms Mason told the hearing: "I am sorry I'm in this position, but if I'm to do the right thing I must not ignore what I now know."
She added: "I must not and I will not ignore it. To do so will not satisfy a full and fearless inquest."
A review hearing will be held at Leicester Town Hall on July 2 to decide when a new inquest date can be set.
Speaking after the second inquest was adjourned today, Mr Moore-Robinson's father, Frank, said: "We were told a number of years ago by the trust and we were provided with what we were told was full disclosure.
"We are eight years in now and we are still being told there has not been full disclosure.
"The trust now needs to go back and do a lot of soul-searching. They have destroyed our lives and are still continuing to do so.
"We are speechless, we are shocked, totally shocked.
"Let's hope July 2 we will get full disclosure.
"I appreciate the coroner is doing a job and it was plain to see she was very, very angry and now we have just got to watch this space again."
In a statement issued after today's hearing, Maggie Oldham, chief executive at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'We are so very sorry that John's family and friends have to endure a further wait for a conclusion to the inquest.
"I have assured Mr and Mrs Robinson that there was no deliberate attempt to conceal any information or documents either from them or from the coroner.
"We believed we had complied fully in providing all of the information requested. We will continue to co-operate in every way possible with the coroner and will supply all further information required."