Norfolk hospital charged following death of patient mistakenly sent home

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has been charged with a criminal offence following the death of Lucas Allard

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has been charged with a criminal offence following the death of Lucas Allard in 2019 - Credit: Archant/Bethanie Eaglen-Smith

The trust which runs a Norfolk hospital has been charged with a criminal offence following the death of a patient in 2019, it has emerged. 

Lucas "Luke" Allard died on March 14, 2019 - a day after mistakenly being sent home from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King's Lynn. 

A subsequent inquest into his death heard that a doctor had assessed a CT scan for a different patient

Luke Allard, from King's Lynn, with friend Bethanie Eaglen-Smith

Luke Allard, from King's Lynn, with friend Bethanie Eaglen-Smith - Credit: Bethanie Eaglen-Smith

When the error was spotted, Mr Allard was rushed back to hospital, but suffered a heart attack as he was being transferred from a wheelchair to a bed.

The 28-year-old could not be resuscitated and died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm as a result of Marfan syndrome.

On Thursday (August 4), it emerged that the QEH King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust had been summoned to appear at the town’s magistrates’ court last month. 

It has been charged with failing to provide safe care and treatment, resulting in avoidable harm to a service user, between March 12 and March 14, 2019.

The district judge was not in a position to hear the case and the matter was adjourned to be heard at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on December 8.

Protestors outside the QEH hospital in Kings Lynn, organised by Kings Lynn Trades Council.Byline: S

A sign outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn - Credit: Sonya Duncan

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Later, a spokesman for the trust said: "The trust is mindful this matter is presently the subject of court proceedings.

"Therefore, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage. Our thoughts and condolences remain with Lucas’ family."

Mr Allard, of Mill Houses, North Lynn, had initially gone to QEH on March 12 suffering from chest pain.

His inquest was told he underwent a CT scan but, after the results were sent to the emergency department, Dr Masud Isham copied and pasted the wrong scan into Mr Allard’s file.

The spinal scan, of another patient, showed no abnormalities and Dr Isham sent Mr Allard home at 2.10am on March 13.

Lucas "Luke" Allard died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, in March 2019

Lucas "Luke" Allard died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, in March 2019 - Credit: Bethanie Eaglen-Smith

On the morning of March 14, when another consultant was reviewing scans, the mistake became apparent and it was discovered Mr Allard had an aortic aneurysm.

He was recalled to the QEH but collapsed at hospital later that day.

The inquest also revealed Dr Isham had referred to a second incorrect scan which belonged to Mr Allard - but was from 2018 and showed no abnormalities.

Following the conclusion of proceedings, in October 2020, Dr Govindan Raghuraman, deputy medical director at the QEH, said the trust had "learnt from this case and made a number of improvements".