Family of late DJ Alex T receives apology from Leeds NHS Trust due to inadequate care
"Entry into the health system needs to be easy and user-friendly"
The family of late UK DJ Alex T — real name Alex Theodossiadis — has received an apology from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as a result of inadequate care.
A well-known face in the Yorkshire city's electronic music scene, both in club booths and behind the counter at legendary store Tribe Records, in January 2020 Theodossiadis was admitted to Leeds General Infirmary, having already spent a number of days feeling unwell.
From there, he was moved to St James' Hospital, where he passed away on 28th January. However, the transfer did not involve a nursing escort, and handover notes were found to be inadequate, according to the coroner's report, which declared the cause of death to be sepsis, meningitis, and a subdural haemorrhage sustained after a fall in hospital. However, it was stated in the inquest that he had likely already succumbed to the illness by that time.
"I would like to offer our sincere condolences to Alexander's family and apologise that the care he received was not to the standard we would expect," said Dr Phil Wood, chief medical officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
At the hearing on Friday 3rd December 2022, Kevin McLoughlin, the coroner, stated that he would file two "prevention of further deaths" reports, making recommendations to avoid similar incidents in the future.
A letter will also be sent to the Royal College of General Practitioners, advising GP receptionists on ways to be more attuned to meningitis symptoms. These can appear in any order, and include high temperature, cold hands and feet, vomiting, confusion, shortness of breath, muscle and joint pain, blotchy skin, a pin-prick or bruise-like rash, headaches, stiff neck, aversion to bright lights and fatigue. Seizures may also be a factor.
"The coroner picked up that there's a need for [GP] receptionists to ask questions and help people to disclose what they need to disclose and triage them to get urgent appointments. I think that's a positive," said Professor Sue Theodossiadis, Alex's mother and a medical imaging expert. His father, Dr Alex Theodossiadis, added that the point of entry into the health system "needs to be easy and user-friendly", and professionals must be more aware of difficulties young people have in explaining how they feel.
In April this year, a series of streams dedicated to Alex T, raising money for Meningitis Now, broadcast from venues in cities across the UK, including Leeds, his hometown of Manchester, and London.