Concerns about hospital revealed

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DETAILS of a series of concerning incidents of patient care at Scarborough NHS Trust - which runs Scarborough Hospital used by many patients across the Whitby area - have been made public.

The serious untoward incidents – defined as something out of the ordinary or unexpected that causes a risk to a patient, member of staff or member of the public – have been revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.

They may result in an individual suffering a serious injury, permanent harm or unexpected death, or the risk of death or injury.

Over the past two years, a total of 23 such incidents have been recorded by the trust.

They include:

*A delay in delivering a high-risk baby, which was subsequently still born, in April 2009.

*The death of a baby which was delivered nine weeks prematurely in an emergency section in September 2009.

*A delay in diagnosing suspected child abuse, in April 2009.

*The incorrect sterilisation of maternity forceps, which resulted in blood tests and counselling for the mother, in April last year.

*A mother giving birth to a baby in a lift after it broke down as she was being moved in the hospital in September last year.

*The death of a patient who contracted the C Difficile superbug in April last year.

*Two patients under local anaesthetic experiencing excessive pain after surgical errors.

After the cases, action was taken by the trust in an attempt to ensure the incidents were not repeated.

Following the death of the high-risk baby in April 2009, a review of procedures in the labour ward was undertaken and a new monitoring system was introduced. After a vulnerable patient slipped underwater, a nurse was reported to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

A review of training and delivery of training, a change in some equipment and an improvement in communication with patients was initiated after the baby died after being delivered by emergency section nine weeks prematurely.

As a result of failing to diagnose child abuse promptly, all staff in the Accident and Emergency and the Children’s wards attended training.

Other incidents, which have already been made public, were also recorded by the trust as serious untoward incidents.

They include:

*The hospital superbug C Difficile outbreak in April 2009.

*David Foster, a 56-year-old operating department practitioner, sexually assaulting women patients. He was jailed for five years.

* A patient, James Gorman, absconding from Scarborough Hospital in February last year and being found dead in a graveyard in Filey days later.

Six instances of patients contracting pressure sores were also recorded between June and October last year.

Following the revelations a spokesperson for Scarborough NHS Trust said: “Patient safety is our top priority and we encourage staff to log all incidents. “Every serious incident together with an action plan is discussed at our Patient Safety Forum.

“It is important that incidents are reported and investigated thoroughly and transparently, so that practice can be changed and the risk of errors minimised.”