It has been confirmed that equipment around the bed of a man who died after having weight loss surgery at a Sutton hospital was not checked properly.

Phillip Morris, 48, was confirmed dead at 1.25am at St Anthony’s Hospital on December 10, 2021, leaving behind his wife Dana Morris, 48, and their son Orson, 14.

Phillip was in hospital recovering from gastric sleeve surgery when he experienced complications such as being dehydrated and unable to keep fluids down, feeling confused and disorientated and struggling to breathe.

Initially, the surgery was to be performed through the NHS but after the Covid-19 pandemic hit and many procedures were delayed, it was recommended to him to spend £12,000 and go private.

Dana firmly believes that his death was caused by a “catalogue of errors” by the hospital.

Questions posed by Senior Coroner for south London Sarah Ormond Walsh to hospital staff yesterday (February 6, 2024), revealed that important equipment around Phillip’s bed was not checked before he was put there.

When questioning Senior Nurse Michelle Forest, Senior Coroner Walsh said: “Dr Shukla (a doctor in the room at the time of Mr Morris’ death) could not see anything recording CO2 in those final moments.

“What went wrong?”

Nurse Forest said that due to the nature of it being an “emergency situation”, this particular piece of equipment was not checked.

In reference to the suction device not working, Forest was told by Senior Coroner Walsh: “The suction is the nurse’s responsibility, and it did not work.

“The bed space should have been checked before it was used.

“Nobody, including you, had spotted that the CO2 end-tide was attached to the wrong circuit.”

Following evidence given by Forest and other hospital staff, it has become clear throughout the inquest so far that a device monitoring his breathing and CO2 was found to be incorrectly attached.

In addition to this, a suction device was not working properly, causing issues as hospital staff worked to help Phillip to breathe.

On the evening of December 9, 2021, Mrs Morris and her son were called to the hospital as Phillip had gone outside of the hospital and into the cold.

Forest called them in, believing that they could help encourage him to return inside.

After seeing the severity of the decline in her husband’s health, Dana insisted that she wanted him transferred to St George’s Hospital instead.

However, she was told that as he was agitated it would not be safe for him or for staff and that he could instead be sedated and transferred the next morning.

While Phillip and Professor Khan were conversing about this, nurse Forest chipped in to tell her that there was nothing St George’s Hospital could provide that St Anthony’s Hospital could not.

When asked why she felt the need to interject, she said: “I was trying to reassure Mrs Morris that at that stage it was still a controlled situation that we were having and that we could ventilate Mr Morris.

“I was trying to reassure her that could stabilise him and function as an intensive care unit and have the equipment and facilities that they would have at St George’s to keep him stable overnight.”

Over the next two days (February 7 and 8) other members of St Anthony’s Hospital staff will continue to give their evidence as the inquest continues.

Phillip was a writer, university lecturer and a trained actor and his wife describes him as “funny, focused and determined” adding that he was “the most intelligent man that I had ever met”.

In a statement heard by the Coroners Court yesterday (February 5), Mrs Morris explained that Phil suffered from severe obstructive sleep apnoea, requiring him to sleep with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) every night.

He was also a type II diabetic and had allegedly been thinking about how to lose weight for a long time.

Dana said that he had decided to go through with this surgery for the health benefits being a lower weight would give him.

The inquest continues.