This report from Simon Milburn, Area Coroner for the area of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, looks at the death of Jonathan Kingsman, who died of pulmonary thromboembolism and deep vein thrombosis on 1 February 2021. Mr Kingsman had been admitted to Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge under section 2 of the Mental Health Act 1983 on 26 January. It was noted that on admission, Mr Kingsman had not consumed any fluids for several hours.
The doctor on call carried out an initial risk assessment for venous thromboembolism (VTE), but as Mr Kingsman's mobility was deemed to 'not have significantly reduced ability', the assessor was directed by the guidance to stop the assessment. It was agreed at the Inquest that Mr Kingsman fell into this category and likewise agreed that throughout his time in hospital that there were no changes to his mobility which would have prompted a renewed risk assessment.
However, Mr Kingsman did have other risk factors for VTE, and the coroner raised matters of concern about the risk assessment process as follows:
- That the risk assessment requires no consideration of risk factors other than mobility unless ‘Step 1’ is passed regardless of the number of other risk factors which may be present and their severity – Mr Kingsman was not obviously at risk of ‘significantly increased immobility compared to his normal state’ but died as a result of a DVT/VTE nonetheless. It is reasonable to expect that others may be in the same position in the future.
- The risk assessment form contains no guidance on its completion and no definition of certain terms.
A copy of the report was sent to The Secretary of State for the Department of Health.
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