Kevin Campbell’s hospital care ‘triggered most serious level of concern’

Kevin Campbell’s hospital care ‘triggered most serious level of concern’

Kevin Campbell died aged 54 on June 15 this year (Picture: Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Serious concerns have been raised over the hospital care given to former Arsenal and Everton footballer Kevin Campbell, an inquest heard.

The 54-year-old died at Manchester Royal Infirmary on June 15 after he had been admitted there one month earlier. 

But it’s now emerged that the NHS trust which runs the hospital had declared the most serious category of safety incident in relation to Mr Campbell’s care and diagnosis.

His provisional cause of death was given as multi-organ failure due to a heart infection, said Manchester area coroner Zak Golombek at an inquest opening today.

The inquest heard how Mr Campbell was reported to have been ‘fit and well’ until around January 2024, and was then in and out of hospital until his final admission on May 15 this year.

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

He said: ‘I have been notified that Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust which manages Manchester Royal Infirmary has declared a Level 5 incident related to aspects of Mr Campbell’s care in which there is reference to both a delay in aspects of his care and diagnosis, and also concerns raised over decision-making processes with regards to the institutions of palliative care.’

A Level 5 incident – the most serious category – was declared by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust in relation to the care given to Kevin Campbell (Picture: Getty Images)

Mr Golombek said the level of care given to Mr Campbell and the subsequent declaration of a Level 5 incident is now ‘subject to internal investigations by the hospital trust’.

He added: ‘Therefore I am able to direct that there should be additional evidence to be obtained which includes the investigation report, together with associated witness statements from all relevant clinicians involved in Mr Campbell’s care.

‘And also a statement be obtained from Mr Campbell’s next of kin in order to provide an antecedent history for Mr Campbell and to set out any concerns that the family may have had in relation to his care.

‘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.

‘So, final determinations on the medical cause of death and the care afforded to Mr Campbell will be made as part of the inquest process.’

Campbell worked as a pundit after retiring from football (Picture: PA)

According to the NHS website, endocarditis is a rare and potentially fatal infection of the inner lining of the heart and is most commonly caused by bacteria entering the blood and travelling to the heart.

The inquest was adjourned until a later date yet to be confirmed to ‘await additional disclosure’.

Kevin Campell’s illness and death shocked the football community last month and his son Tyrese, who plays for Stoke City, described him as a ‘special, special person’.

Tyrese wrote on Instagram: ‘I appreciate my Dad was admired by many and the outpouring of love has been some comfort for us as a family, so thank you for that at such a difficult time.

‘The pain of this is indescribable and as a son you look at your dad as invincible. He is my idol, the one who I wanted to be when I grew up. 

‘He was the life and soul of every party and room he blessed, a one in a million person that was loved by everyone. A special, special person. I’ll miss you Dad.

‘I would now ask that the privacy of our family is respected as we mourn the loss of an irreplaceable father, brother, uncle and all-round amazing human being. Love you always Dad.’

Kevin Campbell is considered an Arsenal legend – pictured here with Ian Wright after a European Cup Winners’ Cup final victory in 1994 (Picture: PA)

Campbell worked as a pundit for Sky Sports, Asia-based Sony TEN and was also a hit star on the Highbury Squad podcast, where he spoke about his boyhood club Arsenal.

He regularly co-hosted shows alongside presenter Sophie Nicolaou called Monday Madness and was dearly loved by viewers who he endearingly referred to as ‘squaddies’.

Arsenal said in a statement following his death: ‘We are devastated to learn that our former striker Kevin Campbell has died after a short illness.

‘Kevin was adored by everyone at the club. All of us are thinking of his friends and family at this difficult time. Rest in peace, Kevin.’

Campbell’s professional career spanned 20 years, in which he also played for Letyon Orient, Leicester, Nottingham Forest, Turkish side Trabzonspor, West Brom and Cardiff City.

Campbell was well known for his role in helping save Everton from relegation in 1999 and became a club legend for the Toffees too (Picture: Richard Sellers/Allstar/Getty)

He was perhaps most well remembered for his time at Everton, where he famously helped the Toffees avoid relegation from the Premier League in 1999 with nine goals in just eight games.

Everton said in a statement last month that it was ‘deeply saddened’ to learn of the passing of one of the club’s ‘most popular and much-loved former strikers’.

The club said: ‘Not just a true Goodison Park hero and huge fans’ favourite, Kevin was the Blues’ first black captain and also an incredible person, as anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him would know.

‘Kevin was always afforded the warmest of welcomes when he returned to Merseyside – and quite right, too.

‘He was a giant of a man, a fabulous footballer and he will be sorely missed by everyone fortunate enough to know him.

‘The thoughts of everyone at Everton are with his family at this extremely sad time and we will, of course, pay a suitable tribute when next season kicks off.’

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