Tuesday 28 April 2009

Death hospital boss loses £175K pay-off claim

The hospital boss at the centre of Britain's worst ever bug outbreak in which 90 people died has failed in a £175,000 compensation claim against the NHS over the loss of her job.

Rose Gibb left her £150,000-a-year post as chief executive of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in Kent in October 2007, days before a highly critical report was published on the spread of clostridium difficile on overcrowded and dirty wards.

Because she left her post by mutual agreement, she was in line for a £250,000 severance package consisting of £175,000 compensation and £75,000 notice pay. The payment was blocked by the Department of Health after a public outcry, although she eventually received the notice money.
Well, half a cheer for that, I suppose, but it's still a pretty damning indictment of the NHS 'culture'.

Source: The Metro

Monday 27 April 2009

Pregnant mother is refused free NHS maternity dental care ...

A mother-to-be has been turned down for free dental treatment - because the surgery will not accept that she is expecting.

Sarah Luisis, 27, who is five months pregnant, has been told she needs to provide more proof that she has a baby on the way. That is despite the fact that she has a big bump, a doctor's certificate, antenatal notes and ultrasound pictures of her unborn child...
Source: Daily Mail
Via: Julia M.

Doctor 'failed' abused toddler

A hospital has been accused of failing an abused toddler who was shaken to death by his stepfather days after being released by doctors.

An unnamed senior paediatrician ignored nurses' concerns over 'unexplained bruising' on 16-month-old Kyle Keen, who was admitted with a stomach upset in 2006, Walsall Safeguarding Children Board found.

Protection procedures were not followed so staff at Manor Hospital in Walsall did not alert police or social workers, it said.
Source: The Metro.

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Girl, 3, dies as 12 'spiked' drip bags found in ward

A girl of three has died in a children's ward where drip bags had been punctured, prompting fears they could have been spiked with dangerous drugs.

The child fell seriously ill before she was taken to hospital on Friday and died the following morning. Soon after, 12 fluid bags were found pierced in a storeroom for the wards and have been sent for analysis to see if they were contaminated.

The girl's parents were said to be heartbroken and were being supported by specialist police liaison officers.

'Detectives will be speaking to staff on the wards of the hospital including porters, cleaners, everyone,' a police spokeswoman said...

A post-mortem examination is being held today to determine how the girl died and if there is any link to the punctured bags.
Source: The Metro.

Monday 20 April 2009

'Hospital of Death' gave wrong medicine

Three out of 10 elderly patients who died at a hospital were given inappropriate medication, an inquest jury ruled today.
The panel of five women and three men spent four weeks at Portsmouth Coroner's Court looking at how the 10 died at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire more than 10 years ago.

They ruled that in the cases of Robert Wilson, Elsie Devine and Geoffrey Packman the medication was not appropriate for their condition and symptoms but had been given for therapeutic reasons.

They also ruled that medication had contributed to the death of Elsie Lavender and Arthur Cunningham (known as Brian) but had been given for therapeutic reasons and was appropriate for their condition.

The jury ruled that medication had not contributed to the deaths of the other five patients, who were Leslie Pittock, Helena Service, Ruby Lake, Enid Spurgin and Sheila Gregory...
Source: The Metro

Friday 17 April 2009

Birth collapse Pc 'natural death'

Yeah, right:
A police officer who collapsed in a hospital toilet while in labour with twins died of natural causes, a coroner has ruled.

Pc Sarah Underhill, 37, died on 5 October last year at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, after amniotic fluid from the womb entered her blood stream. Pathologist Sebastian Lucas said her condition was "unpreventable". Mrs Underhill's husband Richard had said doctors should have performed a Caesarean section sooner.

In summing up the case, Oxfordshire Coroner Nicholas Gardiner said: "The twins were successfully delivered but sadly [Mrs Underhill] went into a cardiac arrest from which she could not be retrieved."
Source: BBC.

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Dirty hospitals are cancelling surgery

Hospitals are being forced to cancel operations because private contractors are not cleaning and returning surgical equipment on time.

At least eight procedures were dropped in Manchester in the past few weeks, prompting fears the city may not be able to cope with a disaster or terror attack.
Synergy, which cleans for the Wythenshawe and Trafford General hospitals, returned late or damaged equipment. The company argued the cost of a perfect service would be 'astronomical'.

Meanwhile, the British Orthopaedic Association, which says 5,000 operations are cancelled each year because of cleaning problems, warns 'off-site' sterilisation also affects standards because 'those which remain in-house haven't been given funding they need'.

The department of health offers extra funding if hospitals pay private contractors to clean equipment.
Source: The Metro.

Monday 13 April 2009

Over 27,000 outpatient appointments in Northern Ireland cancelled through unavailability of staff

News that on average more than 500 outpatient appointments were cancelled each week last year in Northern Ireland because hospital staff were not available to deal with patients is startling.

What is shocking is that the figure is bound to be much, much higher since the total of 27,791 cancellations do not include those at the Belfast hospitals which are the biggest and busiest in the province.

Reasons for cancellations include doctors being absent for study leave, sickness, annual holidays or, even, retirement. These are valid enough reasons for staff absence. What is not valid is that the appointments system does not take account of such events.

It is obvious that there is a lack of joined up thinking in the health system.
I thought that was what the armies of administrators were for.

In spite of significant improvements in recent years, Northern Ireland is still one of the worst regions in Europe for heart disease.

There is an obvious solution to the problem of under-capacity in its regional cardiac surgery centre. Cut out the financial waste caused by the huge total of cancelled appointments and redeploy the savings into this vital area of healthcare.
Now there's an idea.

Source: Belfast Telegraph

Four psychiatric patients dying each day in NHS care

The NHS is today castigated for providing "inadequate" psychiatric help to vulnerable mental health patients, as new figures reveal an average of four deaths a day among those in its care.

Data collected by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) shows that 1,282 people in England died in what it calls "patient safety incidents in mental health settings" in the period 2007-08.

Another 913 patients - more than two a day - suffered what is termed severe harm, or permanent injuries, in such incidents.

The figures include patients who died as a result of self-harming behaviour, including suicide, disruptive or aggressive behaviour, medication safety errors and accidents, although it is not specified how many deaths fell into each category.

Campaigners claimed last night that the high death rates showed that many of the hundreds of thousands of mentally ill people who seek help each year receive a second-class service.

"These figures are shocking. It's a scandal that four people a day are dying while under the care of the NHS, and nearly three a day are ending up seriously harmed. It's an appalling indictment of NHS psychiatric care," said Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman. The party unearthed the statistics by analysing reports sent by every hospital trust in England to the NPSA.

"These deaths are the result of inadequate attention and resources being given to mental health, despite the patients being among the most vulnerable and needy in the whole health system.

"There's discrimination in the system that disadvantages the mentally ill. The NHS is falling down too often in its responsibility to do whatever it can to protect such patients," he added.

Sunday 12 April 2009


Health bosses have been awarding themselves pay rises of up to 150 per cent while their patients are exposed to shocking superbug rates and life-threatening delays in treatment.

Under controversial Government rules, heads of Britain’s 117 flagship NHS foundation trusts run their own affairs – and even set their own salaries.

These tend to be far higher than non-foundation bosses’ salaries – an average of £157,000 for 2008, compared with £132,600, according to independent market analysts Incomes Data Services.

Last night Kevin Barron, chairman of the Health Select Committee, said: “We will be examining these issues over the next few weeks.”

One of the most stark examples is a series of rises for Martin Yeates, chief executive of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust which runs Stafford Hospital where the Healthcare Commission discovered 400 patients died because of appalling emergency care.

The revelations will embarrass ­ministers determined to rein in the public-sector wage bill. Most frontline NHS staff received a mere 2.4 per cent pay rise last year.