St Anthony’s Hospital Spire statement: Man dies after surgery

Phillip Morris, 48, underwent gastric band 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.

Last Friday (February 9), marked the end of a five-day inquest into Phillip’s death.

Throughout the inquest, evidence given by hospital staff brought to light that in the final moments of Phillip’s life, important pieces of equipment at his bed were either not working properly or not connected properly.

This was not checked before he was moved to this bed.

Blood tests were also found to have been taken hours late the day before his death.

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.”

However, she went on to say it was too “speculative” to decide what might have happened if staff had blood results earlier.

Senior Coroner Welsh concluded: “The deceased died suffering complications of an emergency procedure carried out, in turn, to treat complications post bariatric surgery.”

Spire Health has offered its condolences to Phillip’s family and apologised for the “distress and pain” his death has caused.

It claims that before the inquest, Spire Health had done a “thorough” review of Phillip’s treatment and has taken action to address what this review found.

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.”

In a heart-breaking statement shared outside of South London Coroner’s Courts, Phillip’s wife, Dana, 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. 

“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.” 

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.

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