Parents seek answers at inquest into death of 22-year-old

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The family of a “lively and vivacious” 22-year-old woman who died in hospital say they have serious concerns about the standard of care she received.

Jennifer Bray died at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH) four days after being admitted complaining of chest and stomach pains.

Her parents, David and Susan Bray, believe she was not monitored properly or cared for adequately. They will be looking for answers to their questions about her treatment when an inquest into her death takes place at Portsmouth Guildhall tomorrow (Friday, January 23).

The family will be represented at the inquest by Dr John White, a specialist clinical negligence solicitor at BL Claims Solicitors.

Jennifer was admitted to QAH by ambulance on July 22, 2013. She had a history of anorexia nervosa and alcohol misuse and had been complaining of chest and abdominal pains.

She was admitted to the medical assessment unit and then transferred to a ward on July 23. She remained there until the early hours of July 25, when she was found unconscious and transferred to the critical care unit. In spite of intensive treatment, she died in the early afternoon of July 26.

At tomorrow’s inquest, HM Deputy Coroner for Portsmouth, Robert Stone, will hear evidence from a number of witnesses involved in Jennifer’s care. These will include the doctors and nurses who treated her on her admission and on ward C5 at QAH.

Evidence will also be taken from the pathologist who carried out a post mortem examination on Jennifer.

Dr White said: “Jennifer's case raises serious issues about the care which she was provided with at QAH. Whilst Jennifer was clearly unwell when she was first admitted, her parents were told that she would be coming home at the end of the week.

“Unfortunately, her condition was not being properly monitored; nor was her increasing confusion noted by the doctors or nurses who were caring for her and Jennifer became unresponsive, never regaining consciousness.

“I expect that the Coroner will be considering carefully the treatment that was given to Jennifer and the causes of the dramatic deterioration in her condition which led to her tragic and untimely death."

In a statement, Mr and Mrs Bray, of Drayton, Portsmouth, said, "From the time Jenny was admitted, we were unhappy with her care. No-one seemed to take her condition seriously. It was almost as if they had pigeon-holed her because of her ongoing conditions.

“We hope that from the inquest we might gain some understanding as to what happened during the last few days of her life by hearing from the doctors and nurses on duty.

“We remain distraught that our lively, vivacious and talented daughter was taken away from us at such an early age."

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