Much-loved B&M worker's inquest rules medics missed opportunity to resuscitate him

An inquest has confirmed an opportunity was missed to save the life of a North Ormesby man who died while being treated for a throat infection.

Stephen Hall's family have spoken about their 'two years of hell' after the Middlesbrough grandad suffered a cardiac arrest while being cared for at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, in September 2022. The 48-year-old had been admitted to the hospital suffering from quinsy - an infection in the throat - and alerted staff he was unwell and was having difficulty breathing.

His devastated sister, Lindsey Hall, claims there was a delay in getting the resuscitation team to him as staff "bleeped" them - rather than ringing them. This resulted in her brother being left 'brain dead' and his life support was turned off three weeks later.

At an inquest into Stephen's death at Teesside Coroner's Court this week, assistant coroner Karin Welsh gave a narrative conclusion, which said: "Stephen Hall died as a result of a cardiac arrest precipitated by infection and underlying heart disease. The use of a bleep rather than a call resulted in the loss of an opportunity to provide effective resuscitation."

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has now apologised to the family for "elements of care" which fell below par. A trust spokesperson said: "We are very sorry that there were elements of care we provided to Mr Hall at The James Cook University Hospital in 2022 that fell below the high standards we strive to achieve. Our deepest condolences go to Mr Hall’s family at this difficult time."

Lindsey said Stephen, a dad-of-two and a grandfather, was hugely loved and she is struggling to come to terms with his death. She said the B&M worker, who lived in the town's Stainton Street, enjoyed his job and loved spending time with his family and friends.

The 45-year-old said: "He is a big miss. Everybody loved him. The past two years have just been hell. I go to bed thinking about him and I wake up thinking about him. I see people in the street who I think look like him. It's just been really, really hard."

She added that the hardest thing for her is thinking that he maybe could have been saved, and although people try to comfort her and tell her she needs to move on she is finding it difficult.

Lindsey said although her brother had suffered a previous heart attack about 10 years ago, at the time he was in James Cook in 2022 he seemed well and was messaging her throughout his stay as he was having treatment for the infection.