Family’s demand to hospital for apology

Joe Leith, 20, with mum Chrissie, who says he "could have died" after doctors sent him home three times - failing to spot life-threatening injuries he had suffered in a car crash.
Joe Leith, 20, with mum Chrissie, who says he "could have died" after doctors sent him home three times - failing to spot life-threatening injuries he had suffered in a car crash.

A MAN injured in a car crash claims he was sent home by doctors at Scarborough Hospital who said there was nothing wrong with him and then he ended up having to have life-saving surgery.

Joe Leith, of Highfield Road, Whitby, is now recovering at home but has to wear a colostomy bag, can’t be more than 20 minutes away from a toilet and faces more surgery.

His family has written a formal letter of complaint to Scarborough Hospital about how he was treated following the smash on June 18, near Staxton on the A64, and is demanding an apology.

Mum Chrissie Butler said: “I won’t stop until the consultant apologises.

“It is shocking and affected everything, even down to his relationships, and has been a nightmare from start to finish.”

Joe, 20, was twice taken back to Scarborough Hospital by his worried parents because he felt unwell and was in excruciating pain.

The first time was the day after and it was thought he may have a bloodclot in the stomach and was given pain killers and antibiotics.

He was discharged on June 27 but re-admitted on 1 July when he was told to expect pain as a result of the accident.

While in hospital on this occasion Mrs Butler was told Joe had internal bleeding and was being transferred to Hull but that didn’t happen and he was sent home on July 5.

A week later he was being violently sick, had a high temperature, could hardly breathe through the pain and was taken back to A&E and put on painkillers and antibiotics.

Mrs Butler says she was told there was nothing wrong and they were wasting the hospital’s time and that other diagnosis ranged from appendicitis to colic.

She demanded a scan and on July 16 Joe underwent emergency surgery to treat a ruptured bowel, inflammation of tissue surrounding the organs and the early stages of blood poisoning before being allowed back home to Highfield Road.

She said: “How long were they going to leave him like that for? It does not even bear thinking about.

“I knew all along there had been something major. If I had been a betting person I would have staked my house they would have found something but a consultant said I was worrying for nothing.

Mike Proctor, the chief executive of Scarborough and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust, said: “We are disappointed to hear of any occasion where it is felt that the care received fell below the standard we would expect. These concerns are being investigated through our complaints procedure and a report on the findings will be made available to the family.”