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Major safety incident linked to ex-footballer’s death

By Rumeana Jahangir and PA MediaBBC News

PA Media Kevin Campbell PA Media

Kevin Campbell died at the age of 54 in June

Serious concerns over the hospital care of former Arsenal and Everton footballer Kevin Campbell have been flagged up by a health trust, an inquest has heard.

He died at the age of 54 at Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) on 15 June after he was admitted there a month earlier.

At Thursday’s opening of the inquest into his death, Zak Golombek, area coroner for Manchester, said Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the hospital, had declared a Level 5 patient safety incident – the most serious category – about aspects of his care.

He said the provisional cause of death given for Mr Campbell was multi-organ failure due to a heart infection.

Care concerns

No family members were present at Manchester Coroner’s Court as Mr Golombek outlined background details.

He said that Mr Campbell had been admitted to MRI on 15 May.

“He had been reported to have been fit and well until around January 2024, when he had a number of admissions to hospital before this final admission,” he added.

He said that Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust declared a Level 5 incident related to aspects of Mr Campbell’s care, which referred to a delay in aspects of his care and diagnosis, and concerns over decision-making processes concerning palliative care.

PA Media Kevin Campbell pointing to a fellow playerPA Media

Kevin Campbell had been admitted to hospital a number of times before his final admission in May

Mr Golombek said the trust was conducting internal investigations and there would be extra evidence including the investigation report, witness statements from clinicians and a statement from Mr Campbell’s next of kin.

He said: “I have also received notification from the trust that a medical cause of death can be offered and, therefore, I will consider evidence from the clinicians involved in Mr Campbell’s care as to the cause of his death.

“The provisional cause of death, as it stands, refers to Mr Campbell dying from multi-organ failure as a result of infective endocarditis.”

He said final determinations on the medical cause of death and the care received by Mr Campbell “will be made as part of the inquest process”.

Proceedings have been adjourned for a hearing at a later date.

‘Life and soul of every party’

Mr Campbell’s 24-year-old son Tyrese, who plays for Stoke City, tweeted at the time of his father’s death that “the pain of this is indescribable and as a son you look at your dad as invincible”.

“He was the life and soul of every party and room he blessed, a one-in-a-million person that was loved by everyone.”

Kevin Campbell scored 148 goals in 542 appearances in a career involving eight clubs.

He won four major trophies with Arsenal and also played for Leyton Orient, Leicester, Nottingham Forest, Trabzonspor, Cardiff and West Bromwich Albion.

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