A hospital under fire suffered new pressure on Friday after it was learned that a second family received a notice of complainants about serious failures in caring for a patient who died, the Guardian may reveal.
West Suffolk Hospital (WSH), used by members of Matt Hancock, is already facing criticism for its unprecedented demand for doctors to provide fingerprint samples in an attempt to locate an anonymous letter writer who alerted widower Jon Warby about Surgical mistakes made before his wife died in August 2018.
It was learned that in a new case, relatives of retired truck driver Horace Nunn were not informed of suspected errors in their care until two months after a hospital injury that contributed to his death in July 2016.
They only learned of a problem when a staff member informed them that the hospital planned to investigate delays in the diagnosis of a neurological problem, known as an epidural hematoma, in March.
The new notice raises more questions about patient safety standards at Bury St Edmunds Hospital, and a possible violation of the strict duty of “openness duty” throughout the NHS to inform patients and family members of harmful failures in the Attention.
Last month, The Guardian revealed that Hancock did not repeatedly respond to concerns that the hospital was intimidating and intimidating senior staff to prevent them from posing patient safety issues. Last week, The Guardian revealed that the trust had spent more than £ 2,500 on writing and fingerprint experts in its search for the complainant in the Warby case.
Mistakes in the care of Nunn, 79, began after he collapsed with a sudden and severe back pain on the afternoon of March 3, 2016 at his home in the village of Ingham, Suffolk.
It took paramedics more than three hours to take Nunn to WSH, seven miles away. It was not until the next morning the next day that the cause of his pain was correctly diagnosed, according to the trust investigation, seen by The Guardian.
An outside expert brought by the trust to review Nunn’s attention found that the injury could have been avoided. The report said: “An external expert concluded that early identification could have prevented neurological injury.”
Nunn died five months later in July 2016. An epidural hematoma was one of the four causes listed for his death.
A coroner criticized his attention as “suboptimal” and discovered that an infection he acquired during his hospital stay was another cause of his death.
The hospital investigation identified a series of errors. The staff could not correctly diagnose their spinal problems when he was admitted in March, although he had symptoms such as pins and needles on his right foot and an inability to lift his left leg.
The errors listed included the time it took for the ambulance to reach it; an initial failure to perform a neurological examination or an urgent MRI; A subsequent failure to conduct a medical review of your care and a delay in your transfer to a larger hospital, Addenbrooke in Cambridge.
A source close to the Nunns said: “The family initially did not know that something had gone wrong. Someone from the trust told them there was an investigation. Then they received a root cause analysis report, which states what happened and where things went wrong and could have been better. “
In March 2019, Suffolk’s chief coroner, Nigel Parsley, discovered that Nunn’s death was the result of a “natural medical condition after his paralysis and paraplegia after suffering an epidural hematoma.”
Parsley noted that this spinal injury was a complication of warfarin medication that Nunn was receiving to prevent a blockage of the lungs. The rarity of this complication was one of the reasons for the delay in diagnosis, he said. Parsley criticized Nunn’s attention as “suboptimal,” but concluded that it probably did not directly cause his death.
Gurpreet Lalli, from the law firm Irwin Mitchell, who represents the Nunn and Warby families, said: “We continue to be instructed by several families who have concerns about what happened to their loved ones under the care of the trust.” . Some of the first-hand accounts that we continue to hear are worrisome.
“Transparency is key to help maintain confidence in the NHS and maintain patient safety. Therefore, staff should feel that they can talk about any problem they encounter in the workplace, sure knowing that they will be protected by doing so. ”
Dr. Rinesh Parmar, president of the Association of Doctors of the United Kingdom, said: “We are incredibly concerned that a second complainant has had to raise concerns directly with a family about possible damages in West Suffolk.”
“This pattern speaks of a toxic culture in which doctors feel unable to speak when things go wrong for fear of reprisals. Given recent reports of West Suffolk’s ruthless response to persecuting anonymous whistleblowers, these fears appear to be well founded. “
The West Suffolk NHS Foundation trust confirmed that it informed Nunn and his family of possible problems with his attention when an investigation began in May, two months after his injury.
In a statement it said: “We would like to reiterate our sincere condolences to Mr. Nunn’s family. We opened an investigation of a serious incident about Mr. Nunn’s attention after internal concerns about aspects of his treatment arose. We inform the family from Mr. Nunn of this the same day the serious incident was declared. “