Patient 'Died Hours After Being Discharged'

An Investigation Into the Death Has Been Launched

18.08.2014

A patient has died from ruptured aneurysm days after being discharged from a Carlisle hospital.

The person, who remains unnamed, was admitted to Cumberland Infirmary via an ambulance after experiencing severe shooting chest pains and difficulty breathing.

Routine tests were carried out on the patient by the medical staff, but they did not find anything and doctors suspected that it was an infection. The person was later sent home having only given paracetamol and ibuprofen.  

It has been revealed in a report that the case was the subject of serious complaints, along with other issues filed in May against North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the medical centre.

The hospital's governing body - the NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which ensures that health care runs smoothly in the county - has been investigating the details of the case.

Local MP Mr Stevenson expressed his concern over the death and commented: "Clearly this is a matter that needs to be properly investigated and there has to be some sort of understanding about what happened on that occasion. 

"Procedures need to be looked at and whether the right level of staff were on duty at that time. At the end of the day, it's the hospital’s responsibility to make sure there is the right level of staffing and the right competencies to ensure that patients are properly treated."

However, Dr Jeremy Rushmer, medical director at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, reassured the public by stating that medical staff examine every single death to ensure improvements continue to be made in hospitals. 

He also stressed that improved incident reporting and whistleblowing had been put in place to reduce the chance of patient safety breaches.

According to The Journal newspaper, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust recently wrote to 357 patients after concerns were raised over the hygiene of two machines used to clean endoscopes. 

Although this is unlikely to have caused any issues, medics have requested that people return to the centre to have blood tests to identify any problems.

Expert Opinion
This is a very worrying case that resulted in a patient losing their life. It is crucial that steps are taken to investigate the concerns raised, with the ultimate aim of ensuring any issues identified can be resolved and care is ultimately improved at the facility.

“The NHS must continually strive to learn lessons to improve its standards and services, with the priority being the provision of the best possible care.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner