POPULAR local businessman Malcolm Green died of natural causes following surgery to remove a tumour from his bowel, the Pembrokeshire Coroner’s Court heard this morning.

Mr Green was 83, and leaves behind his wife and two sons.

A post mortem examination concluded the primary cause of his death was ischaemic and hypertensive heart disease, exacerbated by his having undergone surgery twice – first to remove the tumour, then to stem a post-operative bleed – in a short space of time.

Mr Green’s heart disease was so advanced the organ weighed over twice as much as a normal average male heart - 623g instead of 300g.

In what was his last inquest before retiring, Assistant Coroner Michael Howells said he had been urged to add a qualification to his determination of death due to natural causes “to the effect that Mr Green’s death was contributed to by neglect”.

“There was no evidence that any effective steps could or should have been taken to prevent the actual cause of death, nor was there any evidence that the multi-organ failure [Mr Green suffered following surgery] contributed to that cause of death,” said Mr Howells.

“In the circumstances, I do not think that it is open to me to add a qualification to the primary determination.”

However, Mr Howells did state that Mr Green did not receive “optimum care” while he was recovering from his first operation.

Mr Howells said Mr Green was a “fine man” who is “greatly missed”, and extended his sympathy to the Green family as he brought the inquest to a close.

Dr Sue Fish, medical director for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We acknowledge that on this occasion an optimum level of care was not provided to Mr Green and I personally offer my condolences to his family.

“We accept the coroner’s verdict and any failing in care is not acceptable and the university health board reviews all hospital deaths to see if lessons can be learnt.

“The coroner acknowledged we have taken actions to ensure that these failings do not happen again and these lessons have been shared widely across the university health board.”