Grieving relatives wait on findings

21:36, Aug 14 2014

A Health and Disability Commissioner's report into the death of a Picton woman following an operation at Wairau Hospital has been completed, but has not yet been made public.

Rachel Riddell, 31, died of blood loss after general surgeon Michael Parry removed her gall bladder in January 2011.

During a two-year probe commissioner Anthony Hill investigated if there had been a breach of consumer rights and whether to take further action.

A Health and Disability Commission spokesperson confirmed it had completed the reporting process and the report would be released in due course.

She would not provide a timeframe.

Rachel Riddell's sister, Lynn Weir, said she awaited the outcome of the report.


"There has to be some finality to lay it to rest. My parents are finding it very painful."

Parry stood down from his post at Wairau Hospital following the deaths of his patients Riddell and pensioner Jim Nicholls.

Nicholls, 81, died during surgery to repair a hernia and remove his gall bladder in May 2012.

Inquests into both deaths had been postponed in December 2012 until the outcome of a police investigation into the death of Nicholls.

In May, police concluded the criminal investigation and decided not to lay charges against Parry.

Police referred the matter to the coroner.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said coroner Carla na Nagara would be dealing with both cases but inquest dates had not been set.

The role of the coroner is to establish when, where, how and why the deaths occurred and whether anything can be done to prevent similar deaths.

The Marlborough Express