Updated: 30th September 2022

The father of a Leeds law student is calling for more face to face GP services with less reliance on online consultations, following the death of his son.

David Nash died on 4th November 2020 aged just 26 years, following a short illness during which he had been unable to access face to face GP assessment and treatment.

Our medical negligence solicitor, Iain Oliver, is representing David’s father, Andrew Nash, at the upcoming inquest into his death.

Timeline of GP Contact

Between 14 October and 2nd November 2020, David Nash contacted his GP on 4 occasions seeking medical review and treatment for a variety of symptoms that he was experiencing.

Each time he was only offered a telephone consultation that failed to diagnose his illness.  At the first consultation the GP he discussed his case with flagged up to him to escalate things if he suffered a list of deteriorating symptoms including fever but he was denied a face to face appointment on at least one subsequent consultation because he had a fever, despite a recent negative lateral flow test.

David suffered from childhood with chronic media otitis which was well documented in his medical records with 31 references to his attendances at ENT clinics.

On 14th October 2020, David contacted his GP with generalised lymph adenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes in his neck).

On 23rd October 2020 a further contact was made complaining of an ear infection.

On 28th October 2020, David again contacted his GP complaining of a fever over the proceedings 4 to 5 days and of blood in his urine.

On 2nd November 2020 David contacted his GP again complaining of continued fever, of pain behind his eyes, blocked sinuses and shooting pain in his neck every time his heart beat.

David was refused admittance to the practice for his blood test which was due on 2nd November 2020 due to his fever and was told to undertake a further COVID test.

Later on 2nd November 2020, David became disorientated and was admitted to hospital by ambulance.

Within hours he went into respiratory arrest and despite all efforts by the surgical team he died on 4th November 2020.

Upcoming Inquest

The coroner’s initial “certificate of the fact of death” statement recorded that his death was as a result of:

  • 1a brainstem infarction
  • 1b cerebellar abscess
  • 1c mastoiditis

The inquest was due to take place on 30 November to seek to determine the underlying cause of David’s death, however this date has been amended to 25 April 2022 due to our request for further expert evidence.

David’s father, Andrew Nash, comments:

“The mastoiditis is readily treatable with modern antibiotics and it should never have been left to get to the stage where it caused the complication of a brain abscess. He should never had gone to A&E in that condition. It is something that should have been sorted out way before then and, having approached his GP practice on four occasions, not to see him I think is the primary reason that they failed to recognise his condition and treat it.”

Iain Oliver, medical negligence solicitor at Ison Harrison, comments:

“The tragic death of David Nash has highlighted the inadequacy of remote GP consultations and the lack of face to face appointments when they are so desperately needed.

David’s death could have been prevented with appropriate GP care and attention, which he fundamentally did not receive.”

Listen to Andrew Nash speak to Richard Stead on BBC Radio Leeds:

Update: September 2022

David’s tragic story has garnered significant media attention in the lead-up to the Inquest starting in January 2023.

On 29th September, the BBC and Radio 5 Live covered the story during daytime and evening news slots. The audio recordings of David’s telephone consultations with the GP were also aired.

You can watch the coverage with the following videos below:

BBC One O’Clock News:

BBC Newsnight:

BBC Radio 5 Live:

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