An inquest held on 17th and 18th October heard how Sussex Downs student Tim Mason, 21, died from meningitis W and sepsis. He started exhibiting flu-like symptoms on the 8th of March, and sought medical help at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in the early hours of 16th March. He was discharged in the morning, but was driven back to A&E by his parents and suffered cardiac arrest that evening. The Coroner ruled that Tim died through a failure by the hospital to diagnose and treat his sepsis on his initial attendance to A&E.
The Coroner issued a Prevention of Future Deaths report to the Trust to address their sepsis protocols. In addition, he heard evidence that Tim had not received his meningitis ACWY vaccine and that the alert system for the vaccine had not been switched on at his local GP practice. He issued a further report to Public Health England to address systemic problems with the national vaccination programme.
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has accepted breaching their duty of care by discharging Tim Mason, and undertaken further training for the medical staff involved.
Jessica Elliott is instructed by Paul Sankey of EnableLaw to represent the family.
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