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Cancer-stricken ex-editor died after hospital feeding tube left unchecked

Mike RobinsonA cancer-stricken former regional editor died after hospital staff failed to monitor a tube being used to feed him, a coroner has ruled.

Mike Robinson, left, who worked on newspapers in Herefordshire, North Wales and Shropshire, died aged 65 on 8 September – the day after his wife had passed away.

An inquest into Mike’s death has now heard there was a “failure” to monitor a feeding tube fitted through his abdomen into his bowel while he was a patient at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, where he was being treated for inoperable oesophageal cancer.

The tube moved from its place in the bowel and its contents went into his body, leading to sepsis and his premature death.

Jon Lacy-Colson, consultant colorectal surgeon at the hospital, told the inquest, held in Shrewsbury, that he had found no record of anyone checking the tube was in place after the procedure to have it fitted.

He added that the hospital does not currently have a routine protocol for this, but this would be changed “moving forward”.

Mike spent 21 years as the editor of various titles including the South Shropshire Journal, Mid Wales Journal, Hereford Journal and Ludlow Journal.

In more recent times he worked on the Oswestry & Border Counties Advertizer and the Whitchurch Herald.

Mike’s wife Lesley, with whom he had two sons, had died the day before him.

Recording a narrative conclusion at the hearing, John Ellery, coroner for Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, said: “Mr Robinson has died not because of cancer but from consequences following this surgical procedure. There was a failure to monitor its position and a failure to recognise that it had become displaced.

“The displacement of the tube led to Mr Robinson’s premature death because he would not have died when he did had the tube not been displaced and had the nutrients not gone outside his abdomen leading to sepsis from which he died.

“The trust is now in the process of putting in measures to monitors the placement past the installation of the feeding tube.”