Father waiting five years for apology from Barnsley Hospital

7 December 2015

Kirsty WoodsA grieving father says he is still waiting for an apology from Barnsley Hospital more than five years after his daughter died following an operation.

Bernard Woods’ 30-year-old daughter Kirsty died in 2010, but the hospital has only just agreed to pay compensation after a long-drawn out battle.

Bernard, aged 65, who also lost his wife and father in the 18 months before Kirsty’s death, was helped in his battle against the hospital by Raleys Solicitors.

The hospital has now agreed to the five-figure compensation pay-out, but has not apologised to Bernard, who lives in Penistone.

Bernard said: “It might be more than five years since she died, but the pain is still there every day. The money means nothing to me. I just wanted to know what really happened to my beautiful daughter.”

Kirsty, who had Irritable Bowel Syndrome, had moved in with her dad to look after him and his father, after her mother’s death in 2008. Mr Woods senior died of cancer in 2009.

On August 24 2010 Kirsty was admitted to Barnsley Hospital with sickness and diarrhoea. Doctors suspected she had ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease.

She was kept on a ward for ten days, but her condition deteriorated. On September 9 2010 the hospital carried out an operation to remove part of her bowel and sew the two ends together. An inquest in 2012 was told it was unusual to do both procedures in one go; normally the bowel is removed in one operation and sewn back together several days later.

Kirsty’s condition deteriorated after the operation and she died on September 21 2010. The inquest ruled that she died of peritonitis, an inflammation of the abdomen lining, which if it had been diagnosed earlier she may have survived.

Bernard said that in the days before she died Kirsty had lost so much weight, she looked like skin and bones. The night before she died she sent a text message to him saying simply: “Going to sleep now, love you x’.

The following morning Bernard received a text sent by a nurse from Kirsty’s phone telling him to get in touch urgently. By the time he arrived at the hospital Kirsty was dead.

“Kirsty’s death has left such a hole in our family. She was such a comfort for me when she moved back in after my wife’s death. I still can’t believe she has gone,” he said.

“And I still can’t believe after all these years that the hospital hasn’t apologised to us. It’s painful to lose someone so young and so close, but to wait more than five years to find out what really happened has been awful.”

Andrew Harrison, a medical negligence solicitor with Raleys, said: “Fighting these cases is not about the money for families, it is about getting at the truth.

“Unfortunately all so often they have to involve solicitors to get hospitals to admit that things did go wrong.

“No amount of money will make up for Bernard’s loss; but we at least have some sort of closure now. So we can just hope that Bernard can start to rebuild his life.”

Below: Andrew Harrison of Raleys speaks about the Woods family's long drawn out battle


Notes to editor

Attached photograph shows Kirsty Woods.

Raleys Solicitors are based in Regent Street in the centre of Barnsley. The firm, which was set up in 1883, offers advice in personal injury, work-related disease, medical negligence, accidents at work, criminal injury claims, employment law, conveyancing, wills, trust and probate, and court of protection.

For more information about Raleys go to www.raleys.co.uk

Media contact at Raleys: Carol Gill at Carol.Gill@raleys.co.uk or Maxine Scott at Maxine.Scott@raleys.co.uk

Additional media contact: Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 07792 764891 or at kate@capitalbmedia.co.uk

This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more details about our PR services, please visit www.capitalbmedia.co.uk

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