Lincoln hospital apologises for gran’s penicillin death

Lincoln County Hospital has apologised for causing the death of a woman by failing to acknowledge her allergy to penicillin.

Susan Hammond (61) died in 2009 after being administered the antibiotic by a nurse at the city hospital, despite wearing a band stating she could not have the drug.

The hospital also had notes about her allergy from Accident and Emergency, a letter from her North Clifton nursing home, ambulance notes, her Emergency Admissions Unit (EAU) form, her prescription chart and her GP’s notes.

She had also previously had a heart attack from being administered penicillin for an illness.

Despite this, when Susan Hammond was admitted due to a chest infection, a doctor approved the use of the Augmentin antibiotic, and a nurse administered it.

An inquest in Lincoln heard the grandmother of 10 then died on July 3 after suffering a anaphylactic reaction and resuscitation attempts failed.

A statement from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has apologised unreservedly for the mistakes made during the care of Mrs Hammond in 2009.

“The trust is deeply sorry for the consequences of the errors made by the doctor and nurse involved and has apologised directly to the family.”

The family has been represented by the Lincoln Clinical Negligence Team at Bridge McFarland solicitors.

Partner Louise Bush, who dealt with the case, said: “Given that a very lengthy police investigation has been necessary, this has delayed the inquest taking place.

“The whole process has been very difficult and distressing for Mrs Hammond’s immediate family.

“We hope the family can finally get some closure on this case, which has been extremely distressing for them.

“The fact that full apologies have been made during the inquest by the clinicians concerned, and a formal admission has been made by the Trust, has been greatly appreciated by the family.

“The inquest has been a very lengthy and thorough investigation into the circumstances of Mrs Hammond’s death.

“We hope that the Trust will implement the suggested changes, recommended by HM Coroner, and that lessons will be learned from this case, to ensure it does not ever happen again.”