A HARROW hospital failed to fully investigate the injuries that led to the death of a pensioner from Kingsbury, a coroner has ruled.

Alan Bailey died in his home in Boycroft Avenue after being discharged from Northwick Park Hospital with two broken arms, a head injury, and five fractured ribs after he was beaten senseless behind Pizza Hut in Kingsbury Road.

The 66-year-old, a reclusive figure known in the local community to scavenge for food from restaurant bins, was taken to hospital by paramedics after being found slumped against a wall close to his home in the early hours of November 27, 2007.

But he was swiftly discharged from hospital and sent home in a taxi. He died shortly afterwards and his body was discovered more than three months later after concern from neighbours.

Coroner Andrew Walker today ruled that his injuries should have been spotted by doctors who treated him, and a fuller examination would have uncovered the extent of the damage done by the attack.

Instead, Dr Peter Tzakas, a junior doctor from Canada, discharged him less than an hour after examining him, with nothing more than a dressing to a cut on his head.

Despite warnings from paramedics and from a nurse at the hospital that he had been assaulted, Dr Tzakas decided Mr Bailey did not need an x-ray and missed injuries that later contributed to his death.

Dr Tzakas, who flew into the UK this morning to answer criticism aimed at him at the first hearing at Barnet Coroners Court, claimed Mr Bailey had not shown any signs of broken bones and added “he had no pain”.

He told the court that he did not remove Mr Bailey's hospital gown to fully inspect his chest for bruising, but added: “I saw no bruising at all and no swelling”.

Dr John Payne-James, an independent expert, said: “I have some concerns about the extent of the upper body examination, and I'm still not absolutely clear from the evidence I've heard and seen what exactly had been done.

“I think the examination probably did not go far enough to ensure the injuries, if present at that time, were found.”

Mr Bailey, a retired life engineer who suffered from severe heart disease, was judged to have died from the injuries inflicted on his already malnourished and neglected body.

Dr Gillian Park, A&E consultant when Mr Bailey was admitted, also came under attack at the inquest for her handling of the case.

She described being “shocked” at Mr Bailey's appearance when she first saw him, but did not follow-up Dr Tzakas' examination of the patient.

She said: “I did not commit myself to reviewing Mr Bailey. In retrospect I wish I had.”

A hospital patient said he saw Mr Bailey “trembling” as he sat in the hospital waiting room, unable to lift a cup up to his mouth, but the two doctors denied seeing him in that state.

The hospital conducted a Serious Untoward Incident investigation following the discovery of Mr Bailey's body, and have since distributed the basic rules of examining a victim of an assault to all doctor to try to prevent it happening against.

Mr Walker today stopped short of blaming any individual for the failings that led to Mr Bailey's death, but did in his verdict indicate that more could and should have been done.

He declined to take further action, content that the hospital's own investigation and review of its practices would have had the desired effect.