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Millionaire businessman Malcolm Green bled to death in hospital - but no neglect, says coroner

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 08, 2014

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A MILLIONAIRE businessman who bled to death after a lack of care at an NHS hospital was not a victim of neglect, an inquest has ruled.

Malcolm Green, 82, was bleeding internally after an operation but was left waiting more than three hours for further surgery.

By then it was too late and Mr Green, who had just been awarded an MBE by the Queen, died in hospital.

A coroner decided he received "less than optimum care" but it did not amount to neglect.

Mr Green began bleeding internally after surgery to remove a tumour at Withybush Hospital, in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, in 2012.

But further surgery to treat the bleeding was not carried out until the next day.

A medical expert told the inquest how Mr Green - who owned the world's oldest Land-Rover dealership - could have survived if he had been operated on sooner.

Professor Michael Keighley also criticised surgeon Dr Otumeluke Umughele by going to see other patients at a non-urgent clinic.

Prof Keighley said: "The death was more likely than not aggravated by gross failure to provide basic medical attention in the face of obvious need.

"It appears Dr Umughele considered his outpatient clinic a greater priority than a patient who was actively bleeding.

"If there's a patient who is bleeding it is imperative to stop this and it is not particularly difficult to do so."

The inquest heard if Mr Green had not died he would have had a 51 per cent chance of surviving the cancer surgery for five years or more.

Dr Umughele claims he was not told of the drop in blood pressure and no one suggested to him it was a post operative bleed.

He told the hearing: "If I knew there was more of a problem I would have stayed to sort it out."

Mr Green didn't recover from the surgery and died of multi-organ failure caused by a bleeding vessel three days later.

The inquest in Milford Haven heard staff at the 311-bed district general hospital were busier than usual on the night of June 27, 2012.

Mr Green was awarded an MBE for his charity work just months before his tragic death.

His company, Greens Motors in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, is the oldest LandRover dealership in the world and he was still working in the days before going into hospital.

Stephen Glynn, representing the Green family, asked the coroner to record a neglect verdict.

He said: "We say that Malcolm Green died of natural causes following a failure of basic care."

But Pembrokeshire coroner Michael Howells ruled Mr Green died of natural causes not contributed to by neglect.

He offered his condolences to Mr Green's family saying: "He was a good man and well loved by everyone who knew him."

Sue Fish, medical director of Hywel Dda University Health Board which runs the hospital, said it had accepted liability for Mr Green's death.

She added: "We are in discussions with the family about reaching a settlement."

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