Inquest into the death of Robert Hart finds he would have survived with the right medical care

The inquest into the death of Robert Hart, which took place in Manchester over 6 days before Mr Nigel Meadows, Senior Coroner for Manchester concluded on 9th November 2015.

Mr Meadows found that failures in the medical care provided to Robert were a significant cause of his death following an assault at the Parklife Festival on 7th June 2014. The coroner ruled that Robert was assaulted unlawfully at Parklife and that his attacker, who remains unidentified, unlawfully killed Robert. However he also found that if Robert had received correct medical care from staff at Salford Royal Hospital following the attack he would have survived.

After the attack Robert was taken by ambulance to North Manchester Hospital, arriving at around 10pm. The coroner identified failures in communication between staff at North Manchester General Hospital and Salford Royal Hospital, which meant that there were delays in expert neurosurgery input being provided from Salford Royal. Even when neurosurgeons looked at Robert’s brain scan, which showed a developing bleed on Robert’s brain, Dr Christos Gkolemis, a neurosurgeon at Salford Royal misinterpreted the scan and cancelled a planned emergency transfer to Salford Royal, which meant that Robert’s emergency brain surgery was delayed. It was only when senior staff at North Manchester insisted that emergency surgery at Salford was necessary that a consultant neurosurgeon at Salford looked at the scan and arranged for Robert to be transferred urgently to Salford. By the time that Robert arrived at Salford, at around 4pm on 8th June 2014, he had sustained irreversible brain damage and emergency surgery was unsuccessful. Robert died on 11th June 2014.

The coroner found that had these medical failures not occurred Robert is likely to have survived.

Chris Gawne of Price Slater Gawne represents Allan Hart, the father of Robert Hart. Allan Hart has been left distraught by the loss of his son. He has called for Robert’s attacker to search his conscience and come forward. He has also called on Salford Royal Hospital to ensure that lessons are learned from the failures in Robert’s care. Salford Royal Hospital is the specialist head injury centre for the north west of England. Significant changes have been put in place by the hospital to ensure that the problems identified at the inquest do not recur.

Price Slater Gawne are pursuing a claim for damages against Salford Royal on behalf of Mr Hart. The hospital has admitted that the care that they provided to Robert was negligent.

Manchester Evening News provided a live feed of the inquest throughout the week.