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A DAUGHTER who waited for nine years for the truth about her father's death says she can now move forward after a coroner ruled he died as the result of hospital neglect.

The findings of an original post-mortem examination after Allan Porter's death were overturned at an inquest.

As a result of his family's campaign for justice, the deaths of 25 other patients will now be reviewed.

The doctor who carried out the postmortem has since been sacked and a full investigation is under way.

And in a second victory for the family, the coroner also ruled hospital neglect contributed to Allan's death Allan's daughter, Jessica and family members were praised by the coroner for their 'strength' and 'persistence' during a near-decade-long battle for the truth.

Jessica, 20, says: "It has taken us nine long years to get justice for my dad.

"It was shocking firstly to find out that the post-mortem result was wrong and secondly to discover that dad died from neglect. But it is a real comfort to know that 25 other families will be helped as a result of our quest."

Allan, from Heywood, had separated from his wife, Elaine, shortly before his death but still had regular contact with Jessica and her brother, Dale, now 18.

Allan had met a new partner and she was expecting his baby.

Jessica says: "Dad was very loving, he was supportive and strong. He was a singer, performing around pubs and clubs, and I've grown up to do the same. Every time I sing, I think of him."

In January 2010, Allan went to Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, complaining of a severely sore throat.

He was unable to swallow, had a temperature above 39C and a pulse rate of 140, but he was given paracetamol and sent home with antibiotics.

Around seven hours later he collapsed at home, unable to breathe. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving back at hospital at around 9.30pm. He was 32.

A post-mortem carried out by Dr Khalid Ahmed ruled he died of a heart attack caused by heart disease.

In his report he claimed his heart had showed 'age-related changes' and that his nose, throat and airway were 'normal.'.

Jessica, from Bury, said: "I was only 11 when dad died and I was heartbroken.

"Mum was at the hospital all night and I knew something was wrong. When she came home the next morning, I asked her if dad was dead before she even said the words. I just sensed it. I spoke at his funeral, with a reading I had written myself. We played a recording of dad singing too.

"As I got older, I began to worry that I might have a heart attack too, that maybe he had a genetic heart problem."

When Jessica was 18 and studying law at university, she applied for the records surrounding her father's death.

"My mum always said she never believed the post-mortem report," said Jessica. "It got me thinking. And so I decided to start my own investigation.

"I was appalled by what I found.

"Firstly, I couldn't believe the hospital had sent him home when he was clearly so ill. Secondly, I couldn't accept the postmortem result."

The family commissioned their own experts who all said they thought the postmortem conclusion was wrong.

An inquest at the end of May into Allan's death vindicated their claims.

Coroner Joanne Kearsley overturned the original medical cause of death finding, saying it was 'wholly inconsistent' with how he had presented at hospital and when paramedics began treating him.

"Having carefully considered all of the evidence in this case I am not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the cause of Mr Porter's death can be attributed to that as described by Dr Ahmed in the post-mortem report," Ms Kearsley added.

"The findings by Dr Ahmed on the postmortem examination are wholly inconsistent with the clinical presentation." Dr Ahmed carried out 1,351 private post-mortems.

The coroner also ruled Allan's death was contributed to by neglect.

Pennine Acute NHS Trust, which runs Fairfield Hospital, has accepted its failings in the case and say wide-ranging changes have been made. They have also apologised to the family.


Jessica Porter

Jessica and her brother Dale with their father Allan
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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Jun 15, 2019
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