Hospital faces probe as coroner questions former mayor’s death

Councillor Stanley King
Councillor Stanley King
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A CORONER has ordered a probe into the death of a former Lord Mayor of Bradford amid allegations he was twice misdiagnosed with indigestion and left on a hospital trolley for 12 hours.

Former councillor Stanley King, 80, died on October 7 of suspected peritonitis from a burst appendix.

Mr King served on Bradford Council for almost 40 years as a Conservative and was widely respected by politicians from across the political spectrum.

He retired from politics in 2008.

Friends believe his death could have been prevented and are pressing for answers about how he was treated.

Now senior hospital staff are to be quizzed over the events that led up to his death.

A close friend of Mr King claimed a doctor at a medical centre and an emergency doctor who visited him at home had maintained that he was suffering from indigestion in the days leading up to his death in Bradford Royal Infirmary.

A family spokesman added that there were concerns about Mr King’s treatment and relatives had been in contact with the Bradford coroner about the new investigation.

The spokesman, who claimed the coroner had now cancelled the death certificate, said: “Our sadness has been exacerbated by the treatment he did – or did not – receive.”

Michael Burnside, who knew Mr King for more than 20 years, said the former mayor had been suffering from stomach pains but had been told by a doctor he was suffering indigestion.

He then saw an emergency doctor on October 5, who, according to Mr Burnside, also said the pain was being caused by indigestion.

Mr King was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary in the early hours of October 6.

Another close friend, who did not want to be named, said Mr King was in the operating theatre by about 8.30pm on that day.

Mr Burnside believes that had Mr King been given “the proper treatment” he could have lived.

He added: “He was misdiagnosed. He was not one to moan at belly ache. The pain was actually a perforated appendix.

“I think it stinks. The truth needs to come out.”

Hundreds of mourners turned out at Mr King’s funeral last Friday.

He had served on Bradford Council for almost 40 years as a Conservative representative for Heaton until decided to step down four years ago.

A spokesman for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Bradford Royal Infirmary, said the organisation could not comment in detail as the inquest had yet to be held.

The hospital trust spokesman added: “The foundation trust would like to express our sympathies to Mr King’s family and friends at this sad time.

“As the inquest has yet to be held, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

A spokesman for NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, commenting on behalf of Leylands Medical Centre in Heaton, Bradford, said: “We have not received a complaint but we would fully investigate any concerns if we did.

“In light of the inquest proceedings, it is inappropriate for us to comment further.”

Mr King, who was the grandson of a Bradford tram driver and an author of books on transport and local history, first became a councillor at Bradford City Hall back in 1970.

During his long-running political career, he twice served as the chairman of the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority, Metro, and was Bradford Council’s representative on Metro for almost two decades.

He became the Lord Mayor of Bradford in 2000.