The family of a "kind and caring" mother have paid tribute to her following her inquest.

Martha Elizabeth Gittins, who was also known as Pat, died in hospital on Christmas Day 2021 when her condition deteriorated before planned surgery could take place after collapsing at home in Welshpool.

An inquest into her death heard she had been inappropriately discharged from hospital following surgery.

Her family said: "Our mother was kind and caring, she loved to spend time with her family and friends.

"Her passing has left a massive hole in all our hearts that can never be filled."


An inquest into the 82-year-old's death concluded that she died from a surgery complication but was "inappropriately discharged from hospital that resulted in a chance of survival, albeit low, being lost".

Senior coroner John Ellery concluded: "It certainly was the position that had she been kept in hospital she would have been in a better place for what subsequently happened and would have been spared what would have been a distressing time for her."

Recalling collecting her mother from the Royal Stoke University Hospital on Christmas Eve, Linda Jones told the hearing that her mother felt sick and she noticed blood was "oozing" from her leg.

"I went to get a nurse and she took the dressing off and went to clean the wound. Lots of blood oozed out and she put pressure to stop the bleeding. I didn’t think she was fit to go home. 

"The doctor sat near her and talked to her. He said he didn’t think any of the medication would cause that and he said she was fit to go home. 

"Mum said 'I'll stop here, I don’t want to cause any trouble' but the doctor said you're fine to go home. He didn’t do observations, just sat there and talked to her. There were no checks to find out why she was feeling sick. 

"The nurse looked at another nurse and they rolled their eyes and shook their heads as if they didn’t agree with it. 

County Times:

"It was an hour and a half drive home and as we got back she deteriorated and went to bed. Throughout the night she wanted to go to the toilet but she collapsed and she was shaking.

"The next time we saw her she was fighting for her life in Shrewsbury and that's when they told us she had two bleeds in her stomach."

Mrs Jones added: "I'm not medically trained but I definitely did not think she was fit for discharge."

The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust had acknowledged that staff had failed with note taking after there were no records made of Mrs Jones' account of what happened on December 24.

Dr Shang, who was the doctor who discharged Mrs Gittins, told the inquest: "Unfortunately I don’t have any factual evidence of my actions. It’s a difficult one for me to answer having no recollection from that evening.

"I accept I could have done a more detailed inspection of the wound site given the concerns raised however I don’t believe there was any bleeding at the actual wound at the time.

"It may be that this was overlooked because of the oncall shift and I apologise if that was the case. It would have been my normal practice to investigate further."

Want to stay up to date with all the latest stories from Powys? Click here to sign up for our morning and daily email newsletters and click on the + for the ‘Morning Briefing’ and the 'Daily Catch-Up'.

Senior coroner John Ellery told Stoke hospital staff that note taking and documentation were essential, adding: "It is crucial when you are asked to give evidence in weeks, months or over a year later and if there are not you may be actually doing yourself a disservice.

"It’s so vital giving accurate and contemporaneous record of significant developments. Mrs Jones' evidence was significant."

The inquest concluded that Mrs Gittins, a retired caterer from Welshpool, medical cause of death at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital was from retroperitoneal haematoma due to a transcatheter aortic implantation following a heart procedure on December 23. The inquest heard that the frailty of old age and congestive cardiac failure had also contributed to her death.

Mrs Gittins' family added their thanks to the coroner's court for "everything they have done" and being "very good at putting us at ease as much as possible".