Verdict in the inquest of Gary Lovett

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Inquests are very distressing for the family and Mrs and Mrs Lovett maintained a quiet dignity throughout. They listened to all the medical and nursing evidence over the four days. They noted the admissions made by NHS Direct and heard the Solent out of Hours Service defend their nurse advisor and the GP who saw Gary less than 12 hours before he died. 
 
The purpose of the inquest was to answer the following questions:
 
a. Who the deceased was;
b. How, when and where he came by his death;
c. The particulars required to enable registration.


No verdict can be framed in a way as to appear to determine any question of:
 
a. Criminal liability on the part of a named person;
b. Civil liability.

The verdict in Gary Lovett's case identified the fact that the various medical and nursing staff that spoke to or had contact with Gary; failed to identify how serious his condition was. The Coroner, Keith Wiseman said 
 
"Gary Lovett died as a result of severe and overwhelming bronchopneumonia; it is likely that he was suffering from at least the early stages of this condition during the few days prior to his death during which time there was both telephonic and face to face assessment of his illness by a number of medical professionals who failed to identify the extent of his illness and the risk it presented to his life"
 
The verdict will answer many questions for the family but not the most important one: Why was a 20 year old man, previously fit and healthy, able to deteriorate over the course of a week, despite regular medical and nursing input, and then die of treatable bronchopneumonia in this day and age?



Patricia Wakeford 

Solicitor - Clinical negligence team 

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