Inquiry Into Trolley Fall Death

Second Trolley Fall At Hospital In Three Months

30.09.2009

An investigation has been launched after a patient at Stafford Hospital fell off a trolley and died.

The Health and Safety Executive and the Care Quality Commission will investigate events at the Clinical Decision Unit, where patients are assessed before being discharged.

It was the second time in three months that a patient fell from a trolley at the hospital.

An initial hospital report into the death said the patient had been drunk, but no risk assessment had been carried out.

After falling from the trolley, an A&E doctor was called but no CT scan ordered to find out if any internal damage had been caused to the patient's head.

No surgeon was called to check on the patient, and they were moved to the CDU unit, possibly to avoid staff breaching the maximum four hour waiting time in A&E.

It was also reported that a nurse was overheard making inappropriate comments.

The patient suffered bleeding to the brain and cardiac arrest, but died during surgery.

The hospital report said action would be taken against staff involved, and the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital Trust is considering buying low trolleys.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Mandy Luckman from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “The fact that this was the second incident in such a short space of time leads us to question why adequate risk assessments were not already in place. It is to be applauded that the HSE and CQC have seen fit to investigate the events at the Trust after such a tragic outcome. Immediate action to remedy the situation is called for to try and avoid any further incidents of this nature.”