The wife of a man who died after undergoing weight loss surgery in south London has said that mistakes made by the hospital cost her husband his life and that she and her son "will forever suffer those consequences”.

Phillip Morris, 48, underwent gastric sleeve surgery at St Anthony’s Hospital in Sutton on December 6, 2021.

However, due to what his wife Dana, 48, calls “a catalogue of fundamental errors”, he never left the hospital, leaving Dana without her husband and Orson, 14, without his dad.

This week, an inquest into Phillip's death has taken place, and was concluded today (Friday, February 9).

In a heart breaking statement shared outside of South London Coroner’s Courts, she said: “We believe more needs to be done at Spire Hospitals, including thorough implementation of procedures to ensure that they are equipped and can adequately deal with patients post-operatively. 

Your Local Guardian: Dana Morris giving her statement outside of South London Coroner's CourtsDana Morris giving her statement outside of South London Coroner's Courts (Image: First Story Media)

“If a family does suffer the loss of their loved ones, they should be treated with more respect and compassion than we received.  

Spire’s mistakes cost Phil his life and we will forever suffer those consequences.  

“Lessons must be learned so this never happens to any other family.” 

Throughout the five-day inquest, evidence given has revealed that the day before Phillip died his blood test was done hours later than his doctor had requested.

Evidence given throughout the inquest has also brought to light that in the final moments of Phillip’s life, two pieces of equipment at his bed were either not working or properly or not connected properly and were not checked before Phillip was moved there.

This caused difficulties for hospital staff attempting to resuscitate Phillip.

Today, Senior Coroner Ormond-Walshe said: “On the balance of probabilities, it is likely that Mr Morris would have survived the emergency intubation procedure had a correctly attached and working EtCO2 module been in use when assessing the front of neck airway, or at the time that the airway was first fashioned.”

A EtCO2 module is a device which monitors a person’s breathing.

Despite this, Senior Coroner Walshe did not conclude that Phillip’s death was down to neglect.

She said: “To give a neglect conclusion, I would have to find there was a clear connection between neglect and the death. I’m not returning a neglect conclusion.”

Dana describes her late husband as “a force of nature”, adding that he was “a great father to our son Orson, a wonderful husband and a vastly intelligent, funny and loving man”. 

Your Local Guardian: Phillip MorrisPhillip Morris (Image: First Story Media)

When admitted to St Anthony’s Hospital for a surgery he “was promised would change his life”, Dana feels that Phillip was “treated like a commodity on a conveyor belt, without the individual care he so clearly needed”.

Dana added: “There was a failure to properly monitor Phil post-surgery, including taking blood tests as requested by Phil’s surgeon, responding promptly when the tests showed significant issues developing, and monitoring his fluids. 

“Crucially – despite knowing Phil had grown unwell – staff failed to take his bloods as specifically ordered by his surgeon first thing on December 9, 2021.

“It was a critical error that began a spiral of events, which we have no doubt ultimately led to Phil’s death. 

“In fact, a lack of timely monitoring Phil led to their failure to promptly recognise a number of complications, including infection, acute kidney injury and subsequent confusion and agitation along with breathing difficulties.”

Dana went on to recall an incident on December 9 when Phillip was allowed to leave the intensive care unit and head outside into cold, wet and windy weather wearing nothing more than a hospital gown.

After numerous errors were made at the hospital, Phillip died on December 10 at 1.25am from a lack of oxygen.

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

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.

Dana said: “The evidence at the inquest has shown that there was a succession of avoidable failures by Spire and the staff at the hospital, which we have no doubt has left me without my husband and Orson without his Dad. 

“It is now clear to us that if there had been a full on-call team at Spire’s St Anthony’s Hospital, Phil would still be alive today.

“But so too if even the most basic and fundamental checks of equipment had been made before the medical staff removed his ability to breathe for himself. 

“It is clear from the Coroner’s conclusions that Phil’s death was entirely avoidable had the proper steps been taken to ensure that the vital steps to care for Phil had been taken.

“We would like to thank our legal team of Julian Matthews of 7 Bedford Row, and Neil Fearn and Lauren Taylor of Middleton Law Solicitors.”

A spokesperson for Spire Health said: "We offer our very sincere and heartfelt condolences to Mr Morris’ wife, son and family.

"We apologise for the distress and pain Mr Morris’ death has caused and especially for the opportunities missed while he was in our care, as highlighted by the Coroner.

"Prior to the inquest, we carried out a thorough review of Mr Morris’ treatment and have taken action to address the learnings we identified.

"We accept the Coroner’s findings and will reflect on what further we can learn from this sad case.

"In the meantime, we will continue to offer support to Mr Morris’ family."