A PENSIONER died a day after a hospital doctor and a consultant failed to diagnose that he had a broken neck, an inquest was told.

Today the family of Ralph Henry Cane, 85, said they were not taking legal action against health bosses -- but demanded that lessons be learned.

The hearing was told that doctors in the accident and emergency department at Blackburn Infirmary failed to diagnose what was wrong with the pensioner, of Whittam Crescent, Whalley, when he was admitted after a fall on March 18.

He was sent by ambulance to Clitheroe Community Hospital where staff immediately realised his condition was serious and he was transferred back to the Infirmary.

A scan carried the following day showed fractures to the neck vertebrae and a total transection of the spinal cord. Mr Cane died later that day.

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Cane's daughter Stephanie Butters, of Goosnargh, Preston, said she hoped lessons would be learned by medical professionals from the case.

She said her family were not seeking any legal action but expressed concern over her father's transfer between hospitals. "I accept the fall was catastrophic and we agree there was no other possible verdict but his last two days could have been handled much better than they were," she added.

Medical cause of death was given as damage to the spinal cord due to a neck injury and coroner Michael Singleton recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said the law said negligence must have a direct contribution to death or that death could have been prevented by the delivery of correct medical attention.

"It may be that it happened during the fall at Mr Cane's home and that what followed was inevitable and whatever did or did not happen at BRI and Clitheroe may not have played a part," he added.