Family of former Nottingham nurse appeal for information following her asbestos-related death
The family of a former nurse who worked at Nottingham General Hospital during the 1970s are asking for her former colleagues to come forward with information regarding asbestos in the hospital following her recent death from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Posted on 05 January 2023
Lynne Woodward, who died in March 2022 aged 65, believed she was exposed to asbestos during her time working at the hospital from approximately 1975-1978.
Lynne believed that she was exposed to asbestos in the service tunnels and basement areas of the hospital which led to various departments and to the nurses' accommodation. Lynne would walk through these tunnels and basement areas several times a day. Patients were also wheeled through some of these tunnels on trolleys. Lynne and her colleagues remembered different sized pipes running through the tunnels overhead and along the walls. They were low enough to be caught by trolleys or equipment and to be brushed against by people using the tunnels. Some of the insulation on the pipework appeared damaged. Lynne and her colleagues remembered workers constantly carrying out maintenance in the hospital, including on pipework. Some of Lynne's colleagues remembered in one of the tunnels that dust and debris would fall into the tunnel when vehicles passed overhead, due to the vehicle vibrations.
Lynne had suffered from ovarian cancer when she was young and when she developed abdominal pains in October 2019 the doctors initially thought it was a return of the ovarian cancer. She underwent a laparoscopy which included a biopsy and a small bowel resection. It took over eight months for Lynne to recover from the laparoscopy and in April 2020 she was told that the biopsy had shown she had peritoneal mesothelioma.
Lynne began chemotherapy at The Royal Derby Hospital in June 2020 and when her disease started to progress, in July 2021 she decided to opt for surgery at Basingstoke Hospital. She underwent extensive resection of the abdominal tumour in October 2021 and during a very difficult post-operative period she required intravenous feeding. Further complications meant Lynne had to be transferred to Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.
She was discharged from hospital on 30 December but suffered continuing sickness and had to be readmitted as an emergency on 14 February 2022. Lynne tragically died in hospital on 23 March 2022 from the mesothelioma.
Lynne's family said:
“Lynne suffered a long and painful illness in the months before her death. We believe her terrible suffering from cancer was caused by the asbestos in the environment at the Nottingham General Hospital, where she worked for just a few years in the mid 1970s.”
"We are asking for anyone who worked on the maintenance team or any porters from the hospital who remember the service tunnels and ducts and can remember the lagged pipework, or did any work on the pipes, to come forward with information to help the case against the Defendant, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
"Any relevant information will help support Lynne's family's legal claim and help provide for their future."
If you can provide any relevant information, please contact Georgia Pantazides on 0161 672 5232 or GPantazides@leighday.co.uk