A local mother, Mrs Carol Holland, has been campaigning for three years for an apology from St. Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust in Prescot, Merseyside, for the death of her 28 year old son due, she believes, to clinical negligence. Her campaign continues with the support of clinical negligence specialists Thompsons Solicitors in Manchester.


Mrs Holland’s son, David was admitted to Whiston hospital in February 2003 with jaundice and diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis. He died in hospital two weeks later. The NHS Trust has failed to apologise for his death, despite recommendation to do so by the Healthcare Commission, which found there was inadequate care of developing chest infection, which resulted in pneumonia and death. Furthermore, the chest infection was wrongly diagnosed as heart failure and treated with three times the recommended dose of drugs.

Mrs Holland comments: “My family is convinced that there was discrimination against David in respect of offering critical care intervention. Patients like David with alcoholic hepatitis don’t tend to go to ITU, however, David was clearly suffering difficulties breathing as a result of pneumonia.”


The Healthcare Commission concluded that although there is no evidence that trust staff actively discriminated against David, he was not given the opportunity to be considered for a greater level of care because his deteriorating condition was not discussed with the critical care team.