Staff Suspended In Stafford Hospital Care Case

Three Members Of Staff Alleged To Have Not Given Adequate Care To A Patient

27.11.2013

Three members of staff at Stafford Hospital have been suspended after allegations were made that a patient was not properly cared for.

While much of the detail behind the case has not been revealed, a spokesperson for the hospital has said that an immediate investigation will take place to establish the facts of the matter and see whether any offences were committed.

The incident was reported by members of nursing staff and Colin Ovington, director of nursing at the facility, has met with the family of the person involved and pledged to do all he can to ensure that any details revealed as part of the investigation are shared with them as soon as possible.

Stafford Hospital has been hit by a number of scandals in recent years, with press reports and Care Quality Commission inspections revealing wide-ranging neglect in certain wards, with elderly patients particularly vulnerable.

Part of the problem facing the healthcare facility previously was a staff shortage, but the local Member of Parliament for the area, Jeremy Lefroy, said this was not an issue.

"There were the correct number of staff and the correct qualifications for staff, for the patients at the time [of the incident]. It's just simply a matter that there was one patient who was overlooked," the Conservative politician told BBC Midlands Today.

Julie Hendry, director of quality and patient experiences at Stafford Hospital, released a statement that read: "The incident was reported quickly by nursing staff. Three members of staff who were on duty at the time have been suspended while an immediate investigation is being carried out."

But while this represents a setback for Stafford Hospital - part of the financially troubled Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust - politicians say there have been a number of improvements in the quality of care given to elderly patients in recent years.

Expert Opinion
These concerns about an alleged lack of care being provided to a patient are deeply troubling, particularly given that it is only a week since the government set out its formal response to the Francis Inquiry aiming to prevent a similar scandal.

"We are pleased to hear that the Trust has taken immediate action by suspending the staff involved. An urgent investigation must now be carried out to discover why this patient's safety was potentially compromised.

"Any lessons that can be learnt must then be shared as widely as possible to prevent a similar situation from arising again."
Lisa Jordan, Partner