A SHERIFF has blamed a catalogue of errors by doctors for the death of a mum-of-three.

Judith Laing, 65, died from complications after a hernia operation following a crucial delay in carrying out the surgery.

She was examined by three GPs after falling ill with vomiting at her home in Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, in November, 2008. However, all of them failed to diagnose she was suffering from a strangulated hernia in her bowel despite her complaining of swelling in the groin area.

Mrs Laing, a cleaning supervisor, was admitted to Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock four days later, where medics again failed to spot what was wrong with her. She eventually underwent surgery nine days after taking ill but died seven weeks later from a post-operative infection.

A probe was ordered and a fatal accident inquiry was held into her death at Greenock Sheriff Court last year.

Sheriff Derek Hamilton has now criticised the care given to Mrs Laing and said she would likely have survived had her condition been diagnosed sooner. In a written judgement, he said: "There is no doubt that this is an extremely tragic case.

"Had Mrs Laing's symptoms been correctly interpreted at an earlier stage, it is unlikely she would have required such extensive surgery. Clearly, Mrs Laing's death could have been avoided if her symptoms had been correctly diagnosed earlier."

Mrs Laing's husband, Alastair, 71, welcomed the Sheriff's report. He said: "I agree with the report and I hope changes will be made so that no-one else will have to go through the same thing."

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "We have only just received the judgment but will be reviewing all aspects of this case."