Bungay widower accepts payout over wife’s death

A Bungay widower has agreed a five-figure out-of-court settlement with a GP practice over his wife's death from a brain haemorrhage.

Florence Aley had been to see two GPs at Bungay Medical Practice in the six weeks before her death in December 2008.

Mrs Aley's husband Brian said the 71-year-old first saw Dr McCall after complaining of a sudden headache, and the GP diagnosed a muscle spasm.

But during the following days the pain spread down her back and into her legs. Just over a week later she returned to the medical practice and this time saw Dr Emerson. Mr Aley said he decided she had suffered an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and prescribed anti-inflammatories.

However, less than a month later, on December 17, Mrs Aley was taken ill while shopping. An ambulance was called and she was taken to the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, where she was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage. Her condition deteriorated and she died on December 20.

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Mr Aley's laywer, Sharon Allison of Ashton KCJ, said: 'The proper course would have been to arrange a scan of her head to determine whether there was a cause for concern. That might have saved her life.'

Mr Aley, who along with his wife spent his working life in the NHS, said: 'In the early days of this litigation, I thought there could have been a genuine mistake by both Drs McCall and Emerson.

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'But on receiving the first expert witness report from a consultant at Exeter Hospital, I was devastated to read that a first year medical student would have suspected a possible brain haemorrhage.'

He added: 'The second expert report from a consultant neurosurgeon said that had this happened, the prognosis would have been good after having surgery.' A spokesman for Bungay Medical Practice said: 'We would like to reiterate how sorry we are about the death of Mrs Aley and to pass on our sincere condolences to Mr Aley.

'We can't comment further due to our duty of patient confidentiality.'

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