Just one senior doctor was on duty at Royal Berkshire Hospital on the night a Crowthorne dad died after signs he contracted deadly sepsis were missed, an inquest opening has heard today.

Carpet fitter Michael Nye, from Crowthorne, suffered a cardiac arrest on November 15 2022 just hours after he arrived feeling unwell and presenting with symptoms of the fatal condition. He died from Strep A and sepsis at the start of a national outbreak that killed at least two children. 

At Reading Coroner's Court today, the court was told how there were "significant failings" into the care Mr Nye received after it took more than three hours for his blood test results to be seen by doctors when he had been flagged as the "sickest patient" on the ward.

Addressing Coroner Alison McCormick, emergency department consultant Dr Boyko Gerov said: "As soon as I saw Michael at 7.30pm, my first impression was that he looked very unwell. He came in with a GP letter so I spoke with him and suggested fluids and paracetamol because he said he was in quite a lot of pain.

“The symptoms I remember were striking and significant and consistent with someone in a serious condition."

He noted that Michael had mottling on his skin and swelling to his neck and seemed to be in severe pain. The doctor said he was working on the assumption Michael had deep vein thrombosis.

Dr Gerov said he ordered blood tests to be carried out and "waited for the results".

Coroner McCormick quizzed the doctor about whether he considered Michael might have sepsis given the mottling on his skin, pointing to the hospital guidelines which flag it as a key marker.

Dr Gerov said because the mottling was localised to Michael's upper arm and chest, he was working on the basis that he had DVT.

According to the consultant this made Mr. Nye the ‘sickest patient in the department’.

On that night, there was approximately 175 patients in the A&E department with only one registrar.

Dr Gerov added: “On the night there was one registrar, eight junior doctors, and two consultants.

“I felt that we should have had two registrars on the night in the A&E because we were also dealing with another serious incident which I was involved in.”

The inquest heard how Mr Nye's blood tests were taken at approximately 7.45 pm and the results were inputted into the computer system an hour later in the lab but due to a syncing error, the results didn't appear on screens for the consultants until 11 pm.

Dr Gerov said this wasn't the first time results have taken 'an extraordinarily long amount of time' to appear on the system.

He told the inquest: "During that period in 2022, all patients were experiencing problems with getting blood test results and staff were constantly having to call the lab. There was a serious breakdown in communication.”

The inquest continues tomorrow.