[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 2 August 2007, 19:39 GMT 20:39 UK
Probe into cancer patients' death
A relative of Paul Richards
Mr Richards' family asked for time to grieve
Two patients at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital have died after a suspected overdose of cancer medication.

Baljit Singh Sunner, 36, of Small Heath, and Paul Richards, 35, of Sutton Coldfield, died one day after treatment in the oncology ward on 20 July.

It is believed they received five times the correct dose. Father-of-three Mr Richards was in remission at the time.

The hospital is now investigating the men's clinical care. A doctor and two nurses are believed to be not at work.

'Picture of health'

Steve Jenkins, of the Birmingham coroner's office, said samples had been taken away for examination.

A family solicitor, Tony Hall, said Mr Richards' family had yet to come to terms with their loss and wanted time and space to grieve.

He said:" We understand that the hospital is investigating the circumstances of Mr Richards' death and therefore the family would not wish to prejudice that investigation by making a detailed statement at this stage."

A neighbour of Mr Richards, Dorothy Washbourne, said: "His children are nice. His wife's nice.

Heartlands Hospital
Heartlands Hospital is carrying out an investigation

"He used to be very sporty and it's a bit of a shock to everybody because he seemed a picture of health really."

In a statement, Dr Mark Goldman, the chief executive of Heartlands Hospital, said: "Following the deaths of two patients at Heartlands Hospital we are carrying out a detailed investigation into the clinical care given to both of these patients.

"This will be presented to both families and to the coroner, and it will form part of the coroner's inquiries.

"We have already met with both families, expressed our deepest sympathy and advised them of this investigation.

"We are keeping in touch with them to provide information as the detail emerges.

"Until the investigation is completed and has been reviewed by the coroner we are unable to make any further comment on the clinical care provided."

An inquiry into the deaths have begun

Radiation report identifies error
27 Oct 06 |  Glasgow and West
Patient given radiation overdose
22 Nov 04 |  West Yorkshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific