Dead Patient Left On Hospital Ward For Five Hours

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Dead Patient Left On Hospital Ward For Five Hours
image: bma

DEAD patient left on hospital ward for five hours as over-stretched staff failed to notice

A new report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reported that a dead patient was left on a ward at the Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield for five hours as over-burdened staff failed to notice the person had passed away. The watchdog pointed out that the bodies of deceased patients at this hospital are “not always transported from the wards in a timely manner”.

“On ward eight, a patient had passed away at 6.45am, at 11.35am the patient still had not last offices completed or been transported from the ward due to low staffing levels,” the report states.

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“This was reported by several staff members and it caused them distress.”

The report highlighted the fact that the hospital was dangerously understaffed, with some nurses caring for up to seventeen patients at a time, leading to potential infections and avoidable accidents.

The inspection report states: “We were provided with examples of potentially avoidable falls due to low staffing numbers.


“On ward 11, a patient fell and passed away after sustaining an injury.

“At the time of the fall, the ward was short-staffed, and all staff were busy with other patients.

“An investigation report was produced as a result which highlighted staffing as a concern.”


A spokesperson for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said: “There are some issues raised in the reports, all of which we were aware of prior to the inspection, which we recognise as requiring further work and this is ongoing.”

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