Family calls for lessons to be learned from death of pensioner


The family of a pensioner who died at Salford Royal Hospital have spoken of their devastation after learning her death was caused by staff giving her food while she was under a nil by mouth order. 

Marion Sampler, 80, of Ordsall, was admitted to the hospital on 1 October last year after experiencing unexplained weight loss. However she died two weeks later on 23rd October from aspiration pneumonia which a coroner at Bolton’s Coroner’s Court recorded on her death certificate was because she was given food when she should have been nil by mouth.

Her family were so appalled by what they learned following the inquest that they took legal action against the hospital trust with the help of medical law experts at JMW Solicitors. Marion’s daughter Elaine Cooper and son-in law Steven hoped to improve safety levels in a bid to stop the same thing from happening to any other elderly patients.

Steven, 60, of Burnett Avenue, Ordsall, commented: “We feel absolutely devastated about what happened to Marion. Although she was 80 she was still getting about and had no problems with her mental function.

“We’re talking about a human being here, not a car that you can just throw on the scrap heap. We just want to make sure this is never allowed to happen to anyone else. The last thing she said to me the final time I visited her was ‘you’re not going are you sweetheart?’ That will stay with me forever so we need to make sure that the hospital learns from her case.”

Katie Nolan, a specialist solicitor at JMW, represented Marion’s family and helped them to challenge the care provided by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. After her intervention the trust admitted that the food errors were to blame for Marion’s death. 

She commented: “Marion was an active 80-year-old who was still enjoying life with her family. However once under the care of Salford Royal Hospital she deteriorated rapidly and died in distressing circumstances.

“The coroner was clear in his verdict that her death was caused by the fact she was given food when she should have been nil by mouth. This is an unacceptable failure in basic care and it is crucial that Marion’s family understand how this was allowed to happen and receive assurances that safeguards have been put in place to prevent it from happening again.”


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Kelly Livesey on the details below:

Kelly Livesey

D. 0161 828 1868


Note to Editors

JMW Solicitors LLP is a leading Manchester law firm and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients.JMW’s Clinical Negligence team is headed up by leading clinical negligence lawyer, Eddie Jones.

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