The Telegraph reported Paul McNeil's case on behalf of the family of Stephen McManus who died following his admission to Charing Cross Hospital's A&E department suffering a hypoglycaemic episode. The four-day inquest into Mr McManus' death begins this week.Mr McManus' daughter called an ambulance in the afternoon of 4th September 2018 because her father was struggling to cope with his Type 1 diabetes. Despite living with diabetes for 40 years, he had suffered regular hypoglycaemic episodes and was known by the hospital.
Once admitted, Mr McManus was given insulin, but clearly remained confused and agitated. A consultant twice declared him unfit to be discharged. However, a junior doctor subsequently decided that Mr McManus had sufficient mental capacity to self-discharge and asked security to escort him out. This was despite colleagues expressing concerns about his erratic behaviour.
Mr McManus was then wheeled out of the hospital by security guards, despite having no phone, money and being in his slippers. His family were not contacted to inform them he was being discharged.
Mr McManus then re-entered the hospital and managed to gain access to a construction area, somehow finding his way onto the roof. He was found dead the next morning following a police search after his family reported him missing.
The inquest will try to establish why Mr McManus was allowed to leave the hospital and how he was able to access a potentially dangerous zone. Mr McManus's family say the case raises profound questions about the treatment of diabetic patients in the NHS.
Jonathan McManus, his son, said: "My father was an extremely vulnerable patient and the nature of his removal from the hospital is inexplicable. Had he been kept in hospital he would no doubt be alive today."
Originally from Belfast, Mr McManus was an avid cricket fan and Fulham Football Club season ticket holder.
Paul told The Telegraph that the inquest would likely run for four days because of the number of potentially responsible parties involved.
"Type 1 diabetes is a complex disease which Mr McManus dealt with his entire adult life," he said. "Given the prevalence of diabetes, one would expect any Accident and Emergency ward to be able to safeguard and properly manage diabetic patients suffering from hypoglycaemia.
"The Coroner has made it clear he will ask those responsible what they should have done differently to have prevented Mr McManus's tragic death."
Type 1 diabetes occurs when a person's blood sugar level is too high because their body cannot make the hormone insulin. Around eight per cent of the approximately 4.9 million people in the UK with diabetes have type 1, with almost all the remainder suffering from type 2, which is more often associated with an unhealthy lifestyle.
Theresa May heightened awareness of the disease when she revealed she had been diagnosed in 2012 while Home Secretary.
Jonathan McManus said his father's premature death left a "huge hole" in the family. "While I have great affection for the NHS, there appear to have been failings that led to my father's death that could have been avoided," he said. "Had the hospital properly secured an onsite construction area he would also likely have been found in time for life-saving treatment. "Instead, he died alone. His family can only hope that lessons are learned, improvements made and that this tragedy is not repeated.''
Professor Julian Redhead, medical director at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust told the Telegraph: "We have accepted the significant shortcomings in our care and treatment of Mr McManus and have expressed our sincere regret and condolences to his family.
"We have undertaken our own review of what happened to help prevent similar incidents in the future and we are engaging fully in the inquest."
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