AN NHS trust has apologised to the family of a patient who died in hospital.

The patient was admitted as an emergency to Royal Blackburn Hospital in 2015, where his condition deteriorated.

An independent report this year found the trust did not provide the patient with a consistently high standard of care and treatment.

The investigation also found there were weaknesses in aspects of both his nursing and medical care.

The report also said that, while the reasons for the patient’s death were multi-faceted, the death may have been avoidable.

Professor Damian Riley, the trust’s medical director, offered his condolences and apologies to his family at a board meeting on Wednesday.

A report seen by trust board members found the patient suffered with acute abdominal difficulties and had a number of other medical conditions, including autism and mild learning disabilities

He had initially been under the care of another hospital where several admissions and operations had taken place.

In 2015, after being admitted as an emergency to Royal Blackburn Hospital, the surgeons considered the patient to be high risk because of adhesions from his previous operation and inflammation from the pancreas.

As an alternative to invasive surgery, the option of a biodegradable stent was considered.

But the stent had to be ordered as it was not in stock and the patient deteriorated significantly overnight.

Emergency theatre was being arranged the following morning, as the clinical team thought that this would be the best option given his deterioration.

But the patient had a cardiac arrest and died before the operation took place.

The report reads: “The death was referred to the coroner although a post mortem examination was not carried out.

“As a result, the cause of the patient’s cause of death is not known”.

Dr Riley added: “We can confirm that the treatment and care referred to in the trust board report took place at the Royal Blackburn Hospital in 2015.

“This was a tragic case and the trust completed an extensive internal review. As a result many changes have been made to ensure such lapses in care do not happen again. We are an organisation committed to learning from our mistakes.

“Our internal review was supplemented by an independent external investigation, with which we co-operated fully, that came to the same conclusions as our own. The external investigation recognised the trust for being open and honest in its approach to this incident. This is borne out by our summary of the case being included in our public board papers.”