'Living hell' goes on as verdict delayed over death of Lytham dad

Paul Wilkinson, 55, died in five days after arriving at Blackpool Victoria Hospital last year.
Paul Wilkinson, 55, died in five days after arriving at Blackpool Victoria Hospital last year.

The wait goes on for answers over the death of a Lytham dad whose family claim he would have survived had he been given the medical help he needed.

A verdict had been due in the inquest into Paul Wilkinson’s death today but the official ruling will now not be made until Wednesday.

The 45-year-old died of multiple organ failure on May 31, 2017, five days after going to Blackpool Victoria Hospital with abdominal pains.

The legal team representing Mr Wilkinson’s family have argued that he died as a result of neglect, having been made to wait three days for antibiotics after arriving showing signs of sepsis.

Barrister Vanessa Cashman said his partner ‘has described this entire process as a living hell’.

She added: “Had sepsis been treated we have plenty of evidence that that would have prevented Mr Wilkinson’s death.”

Solicitor Leanne Devine, also representing Mr Wilkinson’s family, said: “We believe that with antibiotics Paul Wilkinson would have survived.”

But Michelle Fanneran, barrister for Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said they believed Mr Wilkinson’s death to be due to natural causes.

She said the hospital accepted opportunities had been missed and that Mr Wilkinson should have been treated for sepsis sooner but it could not be proved that he would definitely have survived.

She said: “It’s not enough to say that there was some missed opportunity.

“What is required is an opportunity to provide care that would have prevented the death. He was treated for sepsis after the point when he should have been, but it is not obvious when that was.”

She added that three different independent experts could not agree exactly when Mr Wilkinson should have been treated for sepsis – though all believed he should have been given antibiotics before the afternoon of May 29.

Dad-of-three Mr Wilkinson was admitted to a ward at the hospital on May 26 after being brought in by ambulance.

He died of multiple organ failure five days later and medics found evidence of ‘extensive necrosis to the entire gut’, the inquest heard.

The hearing will resume on Wednesday, when a verdict is expected to be given.