AddThis SmartLayers

‘No evidence’ of metal screw in journalist’s ashes

A health board has said it found “no evidence” of a metal screw being left in the ankle of a journalist who later apparently committed suicide.

Howard Denby has claimed his wife Carole, 63, of Carmenthenshire, suffered eight years of pain and misery after botched surgery.

He said he was was handed a two-inch titanium surgical screw when he collected her cremated remains, supporting his wife’s fears it had been left inside her.

Now the Llanelli Star has reported Hywel Dda University Health Board as moving to disprove the claims.

The board has said there should be an independent review but Howard said he wants the police to lead the inquiry.

Carole was formerly a freelance journalist who had worked with the likes of John Pilger and Austin Mitchell, now the Labour MP for Great Grimsby.

A health board spokeswoman told the Star: “We listened carefully to Mr Denby’s concerns, and a number of investigations, including x-rays and scans, were carried out to ascertain if any metal had been left inside Mrs Denby.

“No evidence of a two inch titanium screw was found within the field of surgery.”

She added that the health board had carefully reviewed the care given to Carole

This included a referral to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, who stated there was “no evidence to suggest” that the health board delivered care and treatment that was unreasonable or inappropriate.

The spokeswoman added the Ombudsman was satisfied the health board had addressed concerns in relation to Carole’s care and treatment.

Carole is believed to have taken an overdose of prescription drugs at her home in Pontyates.

She suffered years of medical complications after breaking her ankle during a country walk, Howard said .

He told the Daily Mail his wife was convinced Morriston Hospital surgeons failed to remove a screw after a series of failed operations on her ankle.

He said: “Carole was adamant there was some metal left over, but the doctors wouldn’t listen.

“Being given the screw after her cremation was devastating.”

The health board said it would “continue to gather independent external evidence which we believe will substantiate this and will continue to cooperate fully with the HM Coroner. ”

“We offer our condolences to Mr Denby,” it said.

In another development, the health board told WalesOnline that Howard’s claims were “unsubstantiated” and said it was “imperative” an independent review was carried out.

Howard, however, said the inquiry should be led by police.

An inquest into Carole’s death will reopen after toxicology tests have been completed.



You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • April 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    So basically it would seem that the original story wasn’t true?

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • April 24, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Would it not be of assistance to all concerned if the funeral director could confirm or deny that a screw was found in the lady’s ashes?

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)