HOSPITAL staff did not fail in their duty of care despite not checking on a man in an A&E cubicle for three hours, a coroner has concluded.

Horwich man John Farrell, who had a history of solvent abuse, was taken to Royal Bolton Hospital late on November 18 after inhaling between 10 and 30 tubes of glue.

He was assessed and due to be admitted into hospital as he was suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea, although his vitals were stable.

But the 49-year-old was left in a cubicle unattended for three hours between 3.45am and 6.45am before he was found unconscious on the floor.

The Cheriton Gardens resident died two weeks later on Thursday, December 1. The cause of death was multi-organ failure due to solvent abuse and liver cirrhosis caused by hepatitis C.

Assistant coroner Timothy Brennand said: “The hospital has accepted the delay and they have apologised. Their transparency and their prompt response should be applauded.

“The reason for the lack of observation on that evening is that the A&E department was dealing with a significant number of other patients at the time.

“While the delay in his treatment was regrettable, it has no bearing on the outcome.

“He was in the best place in the hospital to receive immediate treatment.

“While I accept there has been evidence that some of Mr Farrell’s symptoms could have been discovered earlier, there is no evidence that this was a factor in his death.”

The conclusion came after Mr Farrell’s sister Elaine criticised the hospital for not checking up on her brother regularly.

She said: “He was just left in a room for hours. There were no comfort rounds or anything. They just left him there in a room.”

Mr Brennand concluded that Mr Farrell’s death was drug related.

Since the incident, the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has introduced regular comfort checks in A&E to ensure patients are monitored more closely. A spokesman from Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are very sorry for the family’s loss and have taken their concerns regarding the care Mr Farrell received in A&E very seriously.

“We have liaised with Mr Farrell’s family and since made improvements to what the coroner deemed an already satisfactory system.

“In addition, while it is regrettable that we did not monitor Mr Farrell as closely as we would have liked, the coroner found this had no bearing on his death.”