The wife of a mechanic who died while undergoing rehabilitation for a brain injury had “zero confidence” in hospital staff.

Sharon Breary raised her concerns at a two-day inquest into the death of her husband Neil, who died at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital (N&N) on April 6 last year. 

Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard how the 55-year-old, from Horning, had been admitted to Colman Hospital, off Unthank Road, Norwich, on February 23, 2023, for his rehabilitation.

On March 31, he became unresponsive and was taken to the N&N where he deteriorated and later died. 

Eastern Daily Press: Colman Hospital, Norwich

In a statement to the court, Mrs Breary raised several issues of concern about her husband’s care while at Colman Hospital and revealed she had kept a daily diary outlining his care. 

She said: “I do not think the people there are competent to deal with people with brain injuries. 

“There is a lack of ability to do a basic task efficiently and successfully. 

"I also had zero confidence with [a member of staff] and more so over the weekends due to the continued lack of caring qualities and ability to support Neil with his brain injury.” 

In her conclusion, area coroner Yvonne Blake explained that Mr Breary had three falls as an in-patient there but “did not appear to have suffered any injury”. 

She said: “On March 9, the date of the last fall, he was examined by a consultant whilst in bed and she did not observe any signs of injury. His observations were normal.  

“He was apparently stable on March 30. 

"During the day of March 31, a lump was noted on the back of his head by one member of staff. It is not known how this occurred. 

“That evening, he deteriorated, and he vomited a total of three times and then became unresponsive and twitching.  

“The staff nurse put him in the recovery position and administered oxygen, but he did not improve.  

“She then called 999 and he was transferred to the acute hospital.  

Eastern Daily Press: Caroline House at Colman Hospital, Norwich

“A CT head scan demonstrated a catastrophic bleed which was discussed with Addenbrooke’s [Hospital] and deemed to be non-survivable.”

The primary medical cause of death was given as “traumatic subdural haemorrhage following a fall”. 

Ms Blake added: “It is not known what caused the catastrophic bleed to his brain.” 

Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust’s director of nursing and quality, Carolyn Fowler, said: "We are currently investigating the concerns raised by Mrs Breary through our complaints process, and will liaise with the family about the outcome and any learning." 

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