Kevin Campbell: Concerns raised over ex-footballer's hospital care before his death, inquest told

The inquest into the death of former Arsenal and Everton footballer Kevin Campbell has heard a health trust has flagged concerns in his hospital care.

Campbell died aged 54 at Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) on 15 June after he was admitted a month earlier.

Zak Golombek, area coroner for Manchester, said the provisional cause of death given for Mr Campbell was multi-organ failure due to a heart infection.

Opening the inquest, Mr Golombek said Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, which manages MRI, had declared a Level 5 patient safety incident - the most serious category - about aspects of his care.

The coroner said Campbell was "fit and well until around January 2024 when he had a number of admissions to hospital before this final admission".

He said the concerns relate 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".

"Those matters are now subject to internal investigations by the hospital trust," the coroner said.

Mr Golombek adjourned the inquest to wait for additional disclosure, including evidence from all relevant clinicians, as well as a statement from his next-of-kin "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".

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According to the NHS, a heart infection, or 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.

Campbell scored 59 goals in 224 games for Arsenal and, alongside the 1990-91 league title, he also won the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup at Highbury.

He spent three years at Nottingham Forest after joining them in 1995 and had a one-season stop at Trabzonspor in Turkey before moving to Everton in 1999.

He stayed at Everton until 2005, where he spent time as captain under Walter Smith, and ended his career with spells at West Brom and Cardiff.

Campbell worked in the media after his playing career and was a member of the Black Footballers Partnership, which works to increase the voice and influence of black footballers.

A spokesman for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said it does not comment on ongoing inquests.