Four-year-old boy dies due to neglect in Bristol hospital

An inquest into the death of four-year-old Sean Turner, who died at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children in 2012, has begun. Sean Turner was born with heart problems that should have been rectified when he went into surgery at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, but what should have been the start of the rest of his life quickly turned to disaster when he suffered a cardiac arrest and later a brain haemorrhage.

Accounts from his mother and father suggest that it was neglect that led to the boy’s death as “nobody would listen” when they asked for help. He was reportedly moved from intensive care to a ward far too soon and became so dehydrated and neglected, “he was taking the tissues used to cool his head and sucking the fluid from them”.

Despite their praise for the care Sean received from the nurses in the paediatric intensive care unit, the care he received on the ward wasn’t up to standard:

“As far as I am aware the nurses on the paediatric intensive care unit cared for Sean in a very high standard at times, unlike the care he received on Ward 32, where the nurses were just not around.”

Doctors informed his parents that Sean would be in intensive care for around five days after his operation. However, he was there for little more than 18 hours as, his parents were told, the bed was needed.

After a collapse and loss of fluid from his chest, Sean was moved back to intensive care where he continued to make progress over a period of 11 days. However, he was then moved back to ward 32 where he deteriorated quickly.

On the ward, which was described as busy and chaotic, Sean’s parents were taught, by nurses, how to silence alarms that sounded to monitor Sean’s condition.

On February 16th 2012, Sean Turner suffered a heart attack: “I shouted at the lady doctor that something was wrong but she just stood frozen to the spot, staring at us”, is how Steve Turner, Sean’s father, describes the moment his son went into cardiac arrest in his arms.

Further surgery was performed on Sean to remove fluid from around his heart and lungs and on 5thMarch he was taken to surgery again where he suffered a huge bleed on his brain and died only hours after.

Pensioner dies after 42-minute wait for ambulance that was waiting at hospital for five hours

Fred Pring died at home after waiting for 42 minutes for an ambulance, according to reports. The 74-year-old, who had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, waited for over 42 minutes for an ambulance, despite a fully staffed and fully operational ambulance service in the area on that particular day.

Despite seven ambulances and a rapid response vehicle covering the area on that day in March 2013, Mr Pring died at home while waiting for emergency response when one ambulance waited outside Wrexham Maelor Hospital for nearly five hours when trying to drop off a patient, while a different ambulance had been at the same hospital for over 90 minutes.

Mr Pring’s case had been assessed as a ‘red two’ call which is less of a priority than ‘red one’ which is seen as life threatening. However, in this instance it really didn’t matter about the category that Mr Pring had been assigned to as the ambulance was significantly longer than the target eight minute arrival time for either classification.

A pathologist, from the Home Office, said that it would be hard to answer the question of whether Mr Pring would have survived if an ambulance had arrived sooner; however, Mr Pring’s cardiologist said, during Thursday’s hearing into his death, that had an ambulance arrived after the first emergency call, he would have survived.

Care worker files complaint regarding neglect of 91 year old

A care worker, who believes a 91-year old patient was seriously neglected in an NHS hospital, has filed a formal complaint.

Joanne Connah, a Mencap support worker from Sudbury, accompanied the woman – who suffers from early onset dementia and bowel cancer – in her own time to West Suffolk Hospital last Thursday.

The lady was referred to the hospital after developing an infection but during her four and a half hour stay in the Accident and Emergency department, despite vomiting and being confused, “she was barely checked upon, had not seen a doctor and was not put on any fluids.”

The complainant also claims that the woman was not offered a drink, was left in a room without access to toilet facilities – despite her mobility problems – and didn’t have her temperature taken until three hours after her arrival.

Connah who has now lodged a formal complaint against the hospital said:

“(The patient) was seriously neglected by the staff at the hospital. They did not provide her with the level of care and respect she deserved and so desperately required. Instead they left a vulnerable, frail and scared 91-year-old lady to fend for herself.”

A spokesman for West Suffolk Hospital said that the complaint hadn’t yet been looked into as it had only recently been received but went on to say: “We take every complaint we receive seriously and will investigate fully.”

Cambridgeshire eateries receive zero star rating from Food Standards Agency

Five Cambridgeshire eateries have received a zero out of five rating from the Food Standards Agency.

The rating is established according to how closely the companies follow food hygiene requirements set out in food hygiene law.

When premises are inspected, they are rated for a number of things:

  • Compliance with food hygiene law
  • Compliance with safety procedures
  • Compliance with structural requirements
  • Confidence in management

Once everything has been inspected, a score between zero and five is given. At one time or another, every eating establishment that you come across will have been rated by the Food Standards Agency, including hospitals, schools, care homes, restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, sandwich shops, hotels, supermarkets, bakeries and delis.

Muddabir Hussein, manager of Oliver’s Lodge Hotel which was given a rating of zero on their initial inspection has said:

“We had a review recently and all the things have improved since then. We have made changes and the environment officer has said that things have vastly improved. We are expecting a surprise visit in the coming months which will give us a new rating.”

Along with the five establishments that were given the lowest possible rating, a further 82 eating establishments – 30 of which are in the city centre – were given a rating of one.

Shelley Rudman suffers food poisoning during Winter Olympics training

There’s less than a month to go until the Winter Olympics in Sochi and Britain’s Shelley Rudman is recovering from a nasty bout of food poisoning followed by a chest infection, seriously hampering her preparations.

Rudman is the World Champion in the skeleton bobsleigh and the final stages of training were going well until, in her own words: “I had a little blip on my journey home from Canada to the UK just before Christmas when I was hit by food poisoning – every athlete’s worst nightmare.”

It isn’t known where Rudman contracted food poisoning. However, she did say that she’d like to say a big thank you to the doctors and crew that were on board as they looked after her really well. That wasn’t the end of it though, as after recovering from the food poisoning over Christmas she picked up a chest infection which, although it has now subsided, left her “with the rattly lungs of a 90-year-old.”

Despite having to adapt her training in order to give her body time to recover and not yet being in race form, Rudman is still positioned third in the world: “I’m currently ranked third in the world, so I’m very pleased given that I’m not quite in race form just yet.”

Hospital refuses to make death findings public

The findings of an inquiry, conducted at Kettering General Hospital, over the death of 17 year old Victoria Harrison in 2012 after a routine appendix operation is not going to be released to the public for fears of “endangering the mental health of staff”, a BBC report details.

Despite several Freedom of Information requests – including one from the BBC – over the hospital’s serious incident investigation, the hospital have revealed that they will not be making the report public.

The 17-year-old was admitted to Kettering General Hospital on 14th August 2012 after an emergency referral from her GP as she was suffering with suspected appendicitis. During the operation, an artery was damaged and although, at the time, this was rectified by a surgeon, she later complained of pain and bleeding.

Coroner Ann Pember has criticised the hospital and has said that, “windows of opportunity to treat Victoria were lost – had these been acted upon the outcome may have been different,” as some nursing staff weren’t made aware of the bleed, some didn’t check medical notes and others couldn’t read surgeons’ handwriting.

Under section 38 of the Freedom of Information Act there is an exemption to disclosure if disclosing information would endanger an individual’s safety or mental health.

Andy Sawford, Corby Labour MP however said:

“I’m concerned that information about what went wrong hasn’t been made available to the public. It is important to be transparent when things go wrong, and I will be raising my concerns with the hospital.”

Food snack van found to have breached hygiene rules

A van selling snacks to the public in the Staffordshire town of Burton-upon-Trent has been found to be ignoring food hygiene rules, potentially putting the health of local customers at risk.

East Staffordshire Borough Council sent members of its environmental health team to inspect Deano’s Snack Van and found a number of serious food hygiene lapses. These included food being stored at the wrong temperature, in a fridge that wasn’t working, and that there was no provision for cleaning down work surfaces.

Staff also seemed to lack even basic food hygiene training, as inspectors found that they weren’t washing their hands, had no idea about temperature control and were risking cross contamination of raw and cooked food products as food preparation areas and equipment were not being properly cleaned.

The snack van was given a zero star food hygiene rating by the council, and the results of the inspection were made public as part of its Rate My Place scheme. Staff members working for the business were also told to take a food hygiene training course to improve their skills and knowledge of food safety practices.

Fine for Hull nursery over health and safety breaches

A nursery in Hull, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, has received a hefty fine after an accident occurred at the premises, and an investigation revealed failings in its health and safety policies.

The nursery, run by Lilliput Lodge and located in Sykes Street, was investigated after an incident involving an infant falling from a nappy changing unit was reported. The accident, which happened in September 2011, took place when a nursery worker was alone with three infants in the nursery’s Baby Room, where very young children were looked after by childcare assistants. The child fell a metre to the floor, although it is not known whether any injuries were sustained.

Following an investigation, Lilliput Lodge was prosecuted for failing to implement the right health and safety measures, including giving staff members the right health and safety training. The company was eventually fined £3,000, as well as being ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15 and court costs of £1,000.

It has now been revealed that Lilliput Lodge no longer owns the nursery, and that the business nd premises have been taken over by another company.

London care home found to have violated fire safety rules

Following an inspection by the local fire brigade, a care home in the south London district of Addiscombe has been found to have breached fire safety regulations.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) inspected the Iyanala Residential Home in September 2013, and published the results of the inspection recently. The home was found to have committed nine offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which included:

• Failure to provide staff members with adequate fire safety training
• Failure to provide suitable warning of a fire – i.e. with fire detection systems such as some detectors and fire alarms
• Failure to maintain fire safety equipment in good working order

The owner of the home, Kehinde Lipede, was reportedly given an official enforcement notice by the fire brigade, requiring urgent improvements to be made. These improvements must be made by Christmas 2013, or the facility could be shut down.

Speaking to the local newspaper about the breaches, Ms Lipede said:

“I’ve basically just gone ahead and done everything, so whether I agree with what they’ve said or not is irrelevant. Anything that saves lives is a good thing.

“I wouldn’t necessarily take it as a damning report. Any issue that is flagged up can only be a positive thing in terms of learning from it.”

Red Cross urges young drivers to learn first aid

The British Red Cross is encouraging young drivers to undergo first aid training so that if they are in a crash or come across a road accident, they will know what to do.

The UK government is currently mulling over proposals to increase the age when a person can get a driving licence to 18, in an attempt to reduce the number of young people who end up in road accidents. However, the Red Cross believes that this isn’t the only way to protect young drivers and other road users, and that first aid training could be really helpful.

The head of first aid education for the charity, Joe Mulligan, has a number of useful tips for young drivers, such as the following:

• Make sure you are safe before helping anyone else. If you come across an accident, make sure you park safely and turn off your engine before getting out to help. When you do approach the scene, make sure there are no risks to your safety such as traffic, broken glass or leaking petrol.
• Call 999 as soon as possible for serious accidents, or get someone else to do it
• Deal with bleeding wounds by using a T-shirt or whatever else is available to apply pressure and stop the flow of blood.