Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

It Beggars Belief Common Sense Was Not Applied

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

It Beggars Belief Common Sense Was Not Applied

Article excerpt

A CORONER has launched a scathing attack on a hospital trust after she was forced to halt an inquest into the death of 13-year-old girl.

Shazel Zaman died last April just five days after having a cervical cancer jab and an inquest to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death was scheduled to go ahead, at Rochdale Coroners Court yesterday. Around a dozen people were to give evidence, including expert witnesses, with one being linked from Ireland via Skype. But coroner Lisa Hashmi agreed to a request from Shazel's family to postpone the inquest after it emerged they had not been given Pennine Acute NHS Trust's internal report into the care Shazel received at Fairfield Hospital in Bury.

The 44-page report, and a second containing an action plan, was only given to the family as the hearing began.

The court was told a senior employee from the trust had phoned the family 'six to eight times at different times of the day', but had been unable to get any answer. But the coroner told the trust's solicitor Joanne Trewin: "My view would be if you can't get someone on the phone, you can email them, or send a letter. If you can't get people by one route you try another common sense dictates. It is a lengthy document and action plan and the family are entitled to that."

She added: "It beggars belief common sense was not applied," when the trust is the second biggest in the country. "I take a very dim view of this situation - it puts the family in a very difficult position."

After being given time by the coroner to look at the report, Shazel's aunt told the hearing: "There's a lot to digest. There are bits I don't agree with, so if possible I would like an adjournment. We would benefit if we had some kind of legal representation."

The 'root cause analysis' report, which the family had not received, examined the circumstances of Shazel's treatment at Fairfield. …

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