Criticism of Pilgrim Hospital for ‘awful disease’ not supported at inquest

CRITICISM levelled at staff at Pilgrim Hospital following the death of a man who suffered from a fatal lung condition were not supported by the findings of an inquest into his death.

The family of Royden Toon raised questions over whether anything more could have been done to help the 62-year-old before he died in April this year when they attended a hearing at Boston Magistrates’ Court last week.

But at the hearing, coroner Prof Robert Forrest said he was satisfied that the actions taken at the time were correct and did not contribute to Mr Toon’s death. He recorded a verdict of death by natural causes. The inquest heard that Mr Toon, of Roman Bank, Ingoldmells, developed a condition which caused the lungs to scar and reduced function.

Despite medication to control the symptoms the former builder’s condition continued to decline, and when he was taken into hospital with an infection which affected his lungs, he was unable to fight it off.

Dr David Clifton, who treated Mr Toon at Pilgrim Hospital throughout his illness, said it was not possible to say what the cause of the illness was.

At the end of the inquest on Thursday, Prof Forrest said: “We do not know the mechanism which precipitates this disease, which can happen in normal people who are of mature years without a clear cause. Medicine hasn’t yet discovered what this could be. This is an awful disease.”