Minister pledges help in answering questions about death of Barkingside woman

A government minister has pledged to do all she can to get answers to long-standing questions about the death of a woman after a routine kidney stone operation.

Carmel Bloom, 54, of Fremantle Road, Barkingside, died in 2002 after the operation at the former Bupa Roding Hospital, Roding Lane South, Redbridge.

Today, Ilford North MP Lee Scott spoke during a debate in Westminster Hall about the circumstances surrounding Carmel’s death.

Her brother Bernard Bloom, who has long battled to find out what happened before her death, watched on as Mr Scott detailed the background to the case during the 30-minute debate.

He asked Anne Milton, parliamentary under secretary of state for public health, if she would get back to him on a series of questions including:

• The existence of x-rays taken during Carmel’s operation.

• The identity of a radiologist involved in Carmel’s treatment.

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• The identity of the anaesthetist who accompanied Carmel in the ambulance.

Mrs Milton said in response: “I sadly can’t give closure, but I hope I can work with my honourable friend to get some of the answers he so desperately seeks.”

Saying she could not speak specifically about the case while a police investigation was ongoing, she added: “Being unable to find out the circumstances or get any closure must be a terrible burden to live with.

“We can’t change what’s happened and we can’t correct the mistakes. But people want to know things have changed as a result of the lessons learned.”

Mr Scott, who has been helping the Bloom family since 2009, said during the debate: “There are so many unanswered questions that need answering before the family can move on and have closure.”

Mr Bloom is waiting for guidance from the Attorney General as to whether a fresh inquest can take place, while “whistle blower” Julie Moody, who formerly worked at the hospital and alleges lapses in training for staff, has been interviewed by the Metropolitan Police.

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