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Hospital records blunder did not cause death

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Inquest: Milford Haven Town Hall • Pic: Gareth Thomas

Inquest: Milford Haven Town Hall • Pic: Gareth Thomas

AN INQUEST into the death of 49-year-old Peter Francis Jones from Holloway in Haverfordwest was held at the Coroner’s Court in Milford Haven on Tuesday (Feb 2).

Acting Coroner’s Officer Gareth Warlow said that Mr Jones had never been married, but had one son.

The deceased had attended Milford Haven Central School and went on to work in electrical shops for the majority of his life. Before he opened his own business – Connect Appliance Repairs in Haverfordwest – in 1995, Mr Jones was a heavy drinker. The opening of his shop however saw his issue with alcohol come to a halt.

As Mr Jones got older, his health deteriorated and problems with his spine meant that he was in and out of hospital and prescribed Morphine.

In the last few months of his life, Mr Jones’ family and friends noticed that his stomach began to swell.

On May 15, 2015, Mr Jones collapsed while in Haverfordwest and was taken to Withybush Hospital. He had consumed a large amount of alcohol, he had vomited and he was unresponsive.

As there were no beds available at Withybush, so Mr Jones was transferred to Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli. He was then transferred back to Withybush some days later.

Discharged on May 22, Mr Jones was told that he would receive a letter to attend an ultra-sound appointment to diagnose the swelling of his stomach. Due to the fact he was unhappy with his treatment, Mr Jones put in a letter of complaint to the hospital.

On May 26, Mr Jones went to see his doctor because he was concerned about his swollen stomach. He was told to change his lifestyle and to wait for the ultra-sound appointment. The doctor also prescribed Mr Jones anti-depressants and gave him pain relief.

That evening, Mr Jones went to bed as normal with his close friend, whom he was staying with. When she woke at 6am, she noticed that Mr Jones’ breathing was raspy, before it became erratic. She checked his pupils to find that they were very small and therefore called the emergency services.

Mr Jones was taken to A&E, where his health deteriorated, and he was pronounced dead at 7.10am on Wednesday, May 27.

Mr Jones’ mother, Margaret Jones, spoke at the inquest. She discussed the fact that she was unhappy that her son arrived at Prince Philip Hospital with no medical papers, so doctors were only able to deal with the situation based on what they were told and what was before them.

Mrs Jones also handed pictures over to the coroner to highlight her son’s swelling.

Daniel Hauser, who conducted a postmortem of Mr Jones’ body on May 28, spoke at the Coroner’s Court.

Mr Hauser said that Mr Jones was “very healthy person for his age.” He said that there were no major concerns while he conducted the external exam and commented that there were no signs of swelling.

He added that there was nothing out of the ordinary inside Mr Jones’ body as his body was in “very good condition” with “no major findings.”

Mr Hauser then read out a toxicology report, which highlighted the presence of Morphine and Diazepam.

He read that the level of morphine was of a concentration which had caused death in past cases and said the combination with Diazepam could have contributed to his death.

He said: “The postmortem revealed no obvious cause of death I would be happy to give as a cause of death, but the statement of the toxicology report reads that the level of Morphine has been associated with fatality. I believe it was the combined effect of drugs which caused his death.”

Coroner Gareth Lewis came to the conclusion that Mr Jones’ death was drug related and stated that while his parents were rightly concerned about his swelling, it did not cause his death.

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Burton Ferry: Public advised to avoid oil on beach

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MEMBERS of the public have been asked to avoid a section of the beach at Burton Ferry following the discovery of oil on the shoreline.

Officers from the Public Protection team at Pembrokeshire County Council have put up warning signs advising people that part of the shore between the Jolly Sailor and the NATO jetty has been contaminated with oil. 

The County Council and other agencies are investigating the source of the oil. Work to clean up the beach will be starting soon to ensure there is minimum impact on the public and the environment.

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Stephen Crabb MP speaks out in 40 hour Brexit debate

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PRESELI MP Stephen Crabb has spoken out against a so-called ‘No Deal Brexit’ which would see Britain leave the EU next March without a transition period or an agreement in place for the rules that will apply to trade after next March.

He defended his support for Brexit and said that he had promised on the night of the Referendum in 2016 to implement the result and do it in a responsible way which protects the economy of Pembrokeshire.

Speaking on Wednesday night in the House of Commons, Mr Crabb drew attention to the risks facing local industries like oil refining and the ferry ports connecting to Ireland if Brexit is mishandled.

“How we leave the EU really does matter to the lives of people who work in these sectors,” he said.

He warned of “very serious and specific reasons” why a No Deal Brexit would be “very bad news indeed” for the Valero oil refinery in Pembroke. He described the closure of the Murco oil refinery in 2014 as a “horrible” time for the County and said that he could not vote for anything that would create new risks for Pembrokeshire’s last remaining refinery.

Mr Crabb said that no responsible Member of Parliament for Preseli Pembrokeshire could vote for No Deal and look their constituents in the eye again.

He closed his speech by saying that he would vote for this “imperfect” deal because a perfect Brexit does not exist and Britain needs a way forward from the current divisions and argument.

FOR MORE SEE THIS WEEK’S PAPER

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Welsh Assembly Government will probe Bay City Deal

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THE WELSH Government has announced an independent investigation into the Swansea Bay City Deal.
Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Ken Skates, issued a written statement this evening which said that the UK and Welsh Governments had agreed the project required ‘a rapid and independent review’.
While Mr Skates’ statement is upbeat about the progress made on elements of the Deal, saying ‘all partners are committed’ to its success, the review will cover due diligence and governance in respect all aspects of the deal.
The statement concludes the review will ‘ensure that governance and oversight at programme and project level are robust’. If the review identifies weaknesses, it will recommend measures to strengthen them.
The Cabinet Secretary’s statement follows suspensions of staff from Swansea University who were concerned in elements of the Deal’s delivery, particularly the £200m+ redevelopment of the bog at Delta Lakes into a Wellness Village and Life Sciences Centre.
The move follows a call for the WAO to examine the web of companies and the tendering process made by Carmarthenshire Labour Leader, Rob James.
Carmarthenshire blogger Jacqui Thompson has highlighted potentially serious issues affecting due diligence on the Delta Lakes project. Pat Dodd Racher of West Wales News Review has also probed the project and highlighted a series of overlaps between personnel in different parts of it.
If governance and failures are identified or due diligence is shown to have been less than optimal sub-par, Mark James CBE, the Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council who also heads up the City Board could find himself considerably embarrassed.
The Wellness project has been the subject of a number of articles in The Herald which have examined the corporate backgrounds of the County Council’s development partners in the project.
Tomorrow’s Herald digs further into the tangled web of connection between key individuals concerned in the Deal and particularly at Delta Lakes.

Exclusive By Jon Coles, Senior Reporter

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