Determination of the Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Caroline McCall

Sign in Hospital to Maternity Ward

Earlier this week, Sheriff Daniel Scullion issued his determination in the Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into the death of Caroline McCall. 

Digby Brown Solicitors have supported Caroline McCall’s family members up to and throughout the Fatal Accident Inquiry. Members of Caroline McCall's family discussed the FAI's findings and shared their very personal experiences of Caroline and the events that led to her untimely death in a powerful and moving BBC Scotland interview. 

Following the publication of the determination, Digby Brown Solicitors issued the statement below on behalf of members of Caroline McCall's family:

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Members of Caroline McCall’s family have expressed their relief that the FAI determination is a comprehensive account of Caroline’s tragic death. Their hope is that the issues identified in the determination will lead to changes and improvements in the way patients with Caroline’s condition are treated. 

Caroline McCall died at Glasgow’s Princess Royal Maternity Hospital on 26 November 2008 after being admitted two days earlier, on 24 November, with severe pains in her chest. Eight months pregnant at the time of her death, Caroline McCall’s baby was delivered safely by caesarean section an hour before she died.

Caroline McCall was seen by a number of doctors and medical professionals. However, she died 41 hours after admission without having been seen by a consultant obstetrician and without any consultant having been involved in her treatment.

The FAI has found overall failings in the way Caroline McCall’s condition was investigated and treated and has identified actions which could have prevented her death.

  • Being seen by a consultant obstetrician at any of four key points during her time in hospital
  • Being seen by a senior physician during her time in hospital
  • The inclusion of a cardiac cause or causes in the differential diagnosis made of Caroline’s illness

Digby Brown Solicitors have supported Caroline McCall’s family members up to and throughout the Fatal Accident Inquiry.

Speaking after the publication of the FAI determination, a spokesperson for Digby Brown said:

“Caroline’s family believe this report is a fair and accurate record of the circumstances that led to her tragic death and they are appreciative of all the work which went into the FAI in order to make such a comprehensive determination possible.

“Those who knew and loved Caroline still feel her loss.  Nothing this report says can fill the void left by Caroline’s untimely death. They are hopeful however that other deaths may be prevented and that other patients will benefit from the changes to procedures and to learning which have been introduced as a result of Caroline’s death.”

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Digby Brown hope this will mark the start of the end of legal proceedings in this tragic case and that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will work with us to that end.