An inquest into the death of a man recovering from weight loss surgery in a private, south London hospital has heard that crucial blood tests were taken hours later than requested in the 24 hours before he died.

Today (Thursday, February 8) marks the fourth day of the inquest into the death of Phillip Morris, 48.

The dad-of-one died in St Anthony’s Hospital, Sutton at 1.25am on December 10, 2021 after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery.

He had considered this to be a “small serious risk for a life-changing reward” and researched the procedure extensively.

His wife Dana Morris, 48, has slammed the hospital for making a “catalogue of errors” and calls for “urgent answers”.

Dr Omar Khan, Consultant General and GI Surgeon, had requested that on December 9, Phillip’s blood tests be taken at 6am, despite usual hospital procedure being that blood tests are done later in the morning.

However, this did not happen and his blood was not taken until around 9am.

On the evening of December 9, the infection level measured in Phillip’s body from his blood tests was found to be incredibly high - showing the extent of how unwell he was.

Dr Shukla, a consultant intensivist at St Anthony’s Hospital, was asked questions about this by barrister Julian Matthews:


Was it your experience at St Anthony’s Hospital that when doctors request blood tests to be done first thing, that they wouldn’t be done?

No. I did not have that experience.

It’s very difficult for me to comment why it was not done that morning.


Because it was important given Mr Morris’ trajectory that the results were available for the morning round of assessment?

Yes, it could have been better to have everything in hand, but I know that by 11am we usually have blood test results back.

Unfortunately, due to some reason - again I’m not sure the exact reason - that day it took longer than normal it came back in the afternoon at around 2pm time.


Had you known about those blood results, I don’t think you got them until you spoke to Dr Gabrov (ICU Resident Medical Officer) four and a half hours later, but had you known at 9am on your ward round you would have been very concerned about them at that point. Is that fair?

The bloods were significantly worse by evening.

But, saying that though I was concerned the management plan what he was on was very  appropriate and there was nothing more to add at that time. 


Evidence given throughout the inquest has brought to light that two pieces of equipment at Phillip’s ICU bed were not working properly or not connected properly in the final moments of his life.

This caused difficulties for hospital staff attempting to resuscitate Phillip.

Yesterday (February 7), Dr Shukla, a consultant intensivist at the hospital, told the inquest that the equipment was not checked due to the situation being an “emergency” and that there was not time to follow “ideal” procedure.

Dr McCrirrick, a consultant anaesthetist, also gave evidence yesterday as an expert witness.

When asked by the Senior Coroner Welsh whose responsibility it is to ensure the equipment is working properly in this situation, he said: “The simple answer is that the ultimate responsibility has to be that of Dr Shukla.

“He is the consultant he’s in charge and he is the clinician about to anesthetise and intubate the patient so clearly, he has the ultimate responsibility.

“However, setting up all the equipment is a team effort and other members of the team should have some input too.”

Phillip was initially supposed to have this surgery in an NHS hospital, however, when the pandemic hit these procedures were put on hold.

His wife Dana has said that Dr Khan offered to complete the surgery at St Anthony’s Hospital, run by Spire Health, in Sutton for £12,000 so that it could be completed sooner.

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 on 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.