Inquest: Stevenage man’s life-ending treatment ‘inappropriate’

Coroner's Court.

Coroner's Court. - Credit: Archant

The doctor of a man who died after being placed on an end-of-life pathway has called the treatment “inappropriate”.

Robert Goold, 69, of Stevenage, died in February last year after he was denied water, food, medication and oxygen as part of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. His family were not consulted about the decision.

Speaking at an inquest on Tuesday, Dr Nicola Pearson, an anaesthetist working on the ward the night the end of life documentation was signed, said:

“When I saw Mr Goold he did not seem likely to die imminently. At the time of leaving my shift I did not know it had been documented that the end of life care pathway had been commenced and I do not believe it was appropriate to start the pathway.”

Mr Goold, who had Alzheimer’s, had been taken to hospital after falling down the stairs and suffering a head injury causing a bleed on his brain.


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A post mortem examination showed he died of bronchial pneumonia after eight days on the pathway.

Prof Peter Hutchinson, a neurosurgeon with overall responsibility for the management of the patient, said: “I still believe it was the correct decision not to give Mr Goold hydration and feed, it would have been against our duty of care due to the risk of aspiration.

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“We have apologised to the family about the lack of communication and we will learn from this in the future.”

The coroner is due to give his conclusion and summary on February 26.

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