Learning Disability Today
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Man with learning disabilities died due to care failings at Morriston Hospital, inquest concludes

First published May 2013, updated April 2022


A man with severe learning disabilities died due to failings in his care at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, an inquest has concluded.

Paul Ridd, from Baglan, near Port Talbot, died in the hospital in 2009. He had been admitted for a perforated bowel, but died from respiratory problems after he had been moved from the hospital’s intensive treatment unit to a standard ward.

The coroner, Philip Rogers, found that Paul had died of natural causes contributed to by neglect. In his treatment there were a catalogue of errors, a gross failure to provide adequate medical care and a clear connection between the way he was treated and the cause of his death.

Since Paul’s death, there have been changes made to Morriston Hospital, the inquest was told.

The verdict has given the family “some justice”

Following the verdict, Paul’s brother, Jonathan, and sister, Jane, issued a statement: “It has taken four years for the inquest to take place, so we are glad it is finally over.

“As a family we have lived and breathed the horrendous experience of our brother’s death, which now has some closure.

“The inquest process seems somewhat restrictive as it is not set-up to apportion blame. However, it has confirmed the many failings identified by the public ombudsman, and Dr Turton, the independent medical advisor.

“We are pleased with the coroner’s verdict, and feel that it has given us some justice.”

Health Board responsible for Paul Ridd’s care “truly sorry”

In response, a statement from the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board said: “We once more offer our sincere condolences and apologies to the family of Mr Ridd. We are truly sorry that whilst he was a patient on one of our wards, Mr Ridd received care which fell well below acceptable standards.

“Following this tragic event a thorough investigation was carried out and improvement actions identified. We have worked hard to address the shortcomings identified and have taken action to improve the quality of care we provide across the Health Board.

“We appreciate that these improvements in care can be of little comfort to the family of Mr Ridd. The Health Board would like to acknowledge that the concerns raised in this case have improved care for others.” 

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