Safety blunders led to patients’ deaths

Eastbourne District General Hospital
Eastbourne District General Hospital

A shocking report has revealed seven patients died as a result of safety blunders while under the care of the trust which runs the DGH.

The NHS figures showed how 28 patients suffered severe harm with seven proving fatal.

Entitled The Organisation Patient Safety Incident Report, it revealed 912 people suffered harm as result of their care under East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHNT) which runs the DGH and the Conquest Hospital in Hastings.

A total of 2,867 incidents were recorded between October 1 last year and March 31.

The incidents were noted by trust staff and rated for the degree of harm they caused with 1,948 resulting in no harm, 623 a low degree of harm, 261 a moderate degree and 28 severe harm.

The incidents involved everything from medical equipment to staffing levels and clinical assessments to implementation of care.

Liz Walke, chairman of the Save the DGH group, said she was ‘gobsmacked’ by the figures, adding, “For the chief executive of ESHNT Darren Grayson, to make accusations last week at a Board meeting about certain members of the community focusing on finances and suggesting that it [ESHNT] was prioritising safety and quality, it certainly appears that it [ESHNT] has failed in this also. How long can ESHNT continue? When will the Board do the decent thing and resign?”

A spokesman for ESHNT said, “The figures published show that almost 99 per cent of incidents resulted in no permanent harm to patients.

“A very small number of incidents may have contributed to a patient death. This is a judgement and declaration that we ourselves make and is always followed up by a detailed investigation during which the family is kept fully informed. It may not mean that the incident was the direct cause of the death, particularly when a patient was very sick.”