"Appalling" failings in care at Alexandra Hospital in Redditch

Worcester News: "Appalling" failings in care at Worcestershire hospital "Appalling" failings in care at Worcestershire hospital
  • In August we carried a story about a patient who filmed 'dirty' conditions at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Watch the video again below.

 

AN NHS hospital in Worcestershire will apologise to the families of 38 people who suffered what human rights lawyers have called "appalling" failures of care.

In one of the worst cases of mistreatment, an 84-year-old man starved to death at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch in June 2009.

Some patients treated by the Worcestershire Acute NHS Hospital Trust were left thirsty with drinks left out of reach while others were left to sit in their own excrement.

In another instance an elderly woman went unwashed for 11 weeks and later died, and a man who was unable to feed himself, and whose nurses would simply take his uneaten food away, according to his daughter.

There were further claims from the families of a man whose ribs were broken while hospital staff attempted to lift him, and a great-grandmother whose hip fracture went undetected by doctors.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was "disgusted and appalled" to read the families' and patients' accounts saying the Department for Health would be "keeping a careful eye" on the situation.

Lawyers for the families started a class action against the trust 15 months ago, after failings in basic day-to-day care were highlighted in a report by health watchdog the Care and Quality Commission (CQC).

Health bosses at the trust agreed in November to write to each of the families apologising for lapses in care, but have not admitted legal liability.

Many of the families will also receive a financial payment of on average about £10,000 - totalling £410,000 altogether.

Emma Jones, a human rights lawyer with Leigh Day & Co which brought the legal action, said: "The failings we uncovered were appalling.

"Vulnerable and elderly patients were left starving and thirsty, with drinks left out of reach, buzzers ignored and people not being taken to the toilet and instead left to sit in their own faeces by the very people meant to be caring for them.

"There have been financial settlements, but what the families have always wanted all along is an apology, some have been waiting years.

"The trust has agreed to send out those letters of apology and they are expected to be sent out in January."

Ms Jones said the trust "had engaged" with lawyers throughout the process, and the settlements reflected a willingness to "draw a line" under the matter.

In a statement, the trust accepted "care fell below the requisite standard" but added "significant" improvements had since been made to levels of patient care.

The incidents all took place between 2002 and 2011, with 35 cases brought against the Alexandra Hospital and three against the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Worcester.

In March 2011, inspectors from the CQC arrived unannounced at the Alexandra Hospital, and concluded that the trust was breaking the law in failing to meet "essential standards", and needed to improve care.

Ms Jones said: "Clients came forward following a report by the watchdog the Care and Quality Commission which raised all sorts of issues about dignity, nutrition and respect for patients.

"I am hopeful that the trust have learned their lessons.

"When we met with them (the trust) in November they assured us changes had been made and I am hopeful they will have been made."

Mr Hunt said "I am disgusted and appalled to read these accounts of what patients and their relatives went through.

"These are examples of the sort of 'care' that should simply not happen in the NHS and there is no excuse for them.

"We will be keeping a careful eye on this situation, and will take further action if necessary.

"I know that most NHS staff including many at the Alexandra Hospital will be shocked to hear these stories.

"I want to support them in making sure that these awful experiences are not repeated.

"In future, we will be implementing a systematic way of measuring patients' experiences, both good and bad, so that the public can see how individual hospitals are doing at providing the highest possible standards of care."

Worcestershire Acute Hospital Trust said in a statement: "While the trust has accepted that certain aspects of the care afforded to some patients fell below the standard that they were entitled to expect, all of the cases cited are several years old, in many incidences, more than a decade old.

"This trust now has the sixth best standard hospital mortality index (SHMI) in the Midlands and East Strategic Health area based on 2012/13 figures which put the figure at 97 - which is below the national average.

"A number of very serious allegations made by the families of deceased patients are not borne out by the medical records.

"Nevertheless, the trust accepts that, the care afforded to some patients, some years ago - between 2002 and 2009 - fell below the requisite standard and has apologised for the shortcomings.

"Following a CQC inspection in early 2011, and as a consequence of rigorous clinical governance within the trust, significant changes have been made to ensure patient care is excellent which is resulting in the trust currently producing a SHMI below the national average.

"Moreover, the CQC inspection in September 2011 confirmed the trust met every CQC standard and the focus now is to ensure that those high standards are maintained and built upon.

"The trust is committed to delivering the very best care to its patients and will continue to strive for excellence."

  • In August we carried a story about a patient who filmed 'dirty' conditions at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Watch the video again below.
  • For the full article click here.

Comments (25)

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4:17pm Sun 23 Dec 12

very angry2 says...

out of order??? you should speak to the familys i think youll find it is still happening i will not take my words back if wn wants to delete it so be it but believe me it is still happening
out of order??? you should speak to the familys i think youll find it is still happening i will not take my words back if wn wants to delete it so be it but believe me it is still happening very angry2

6:39pm Sun 23 Dec 12

solar1 says...

The WN article quotes "Worcestershire Acute Hospital Trust said in a statement: "While the trust has accepted that certain aspects of the care ...... all of the cases cited are several years old, in many incidences, more than a decade old”.

The time lapse is irrelevant. In fact it just makes the situation worse because relatives have had to wait a decade for closure. Senior Worcestershire Acute Trust staff just don’t seem to “get” the point. I’m surprised they haven’t put a spin on the situation and blamed the patients for being inconsiderate enough to be ill.
The WN article quotes "Worcestershire Acute Hospital Trust said in a statement: "While the trust has accepted that certain aspects of the care ...... all of the cases cited are several years old, in many incidences, more than a decade old”. The time lapse is irrelevant. In fact it just makes the situation worse because relatives have had to wait a decade for closure. Senior Worcestershire Acute Trust staff just don’t seem to “get” the point. I’m surprised they haven’t put a spin on the situation and blamed the patients for being inconsiderate enough to be ill. solar1

6:43pm Sun 23 Dec 12

solar1 says...

As to "A number of very serious allegations made by the families of deceased patients are not borne out by the medical records."

Surprise, Surprise!! Unless the medical staff concerned were honest and wrote in a patient’s notes “I neglected this patient today by failing to ensure they were fed or cared for”, this will NOT be borne out by the medical records. Additionally, is it possible that many of the records were unavailable or had even “disappeared” into the ether?
As to "A number of very serious allegations made by the families of deceased patients are not borne out by the medical records." Surprise, Surprise!! Unless the medical staff concerned were honest and wrote in a patient’s notes “I neglected this patient today by failing to ensure they were fed or cared for”, this will NOT be borne out by the medical records. Additionally, is it possible that many of the records were unavailable or had even “disappeared” into the ether? solar1

7:07pm Sun 23 Dec 12

spider666 says...

It's like something out of a horror story---unbelievable
.
It's like something out of a horror story---unbelievable . spider666

7:30pm Sun 23 Dec 12

very angry2 says...

and ill will name and shame the royal worcester hospital
and ill will name and shame the royal worcester hospital very angry2

8:01pm Sun 23 Dec 12

DarrenM says...

Close it down and prosecute the Chief Executive for Corporate Manslaughter
Close it down and prosecute the Chief Executive for Corporate Manslaughter DarrenM

8:07pm Sun 23 Dec 12

rackedoff says...

Just how long is it going to be before the Director of Nursing takes responsibility for this latest appalling disclosure? Following on from the CQC report earlier this year when most sane people would have expected her to have been removed, it beggars belief that she is still in situ. For goodness sake let's see some leadership.
Just how long is it going to be before the Director of Nursing takes responsibility for this latest appalling disclosure? Following on from the CQC report earlier this year when most sane people would have expected her to have been removed, it beggars belief that she is still in situ. For goodness sake let's see some leadership. rackedoff

8:09pm Sun 23 Dec 12

Bonzodog says...

I see Godwin has raised his head already : and we have had less than 10 comments.
I see Godwin has raised his head already : and we have had less than 10 comments. Bonzodog

8:56pm Sun 23 Dec 12

very angry2 says...

duty of care its not just the alex the worcestershire nhs trust all round should hang there heads in shame what are we left with a once able walking person now weighing 5stone unable to walk and a carrier of c-diff what life is that??? it beggars belief that they come on the tv spouting the pr waffle im sure were not the only family a total nightmare and you try get a straight answer out of them!
duty of care its not just the alex the worcestershire nhs trust all round should hang there heads in shame what are we left with a once able walking person now weighing 5stone unable to walk and a carrier of c-diff what life is that??? it beggars belief that they come on the tv spouting the pr waffle im sure were not the only family a total nightmare and you try get a straight answer out of them! very angry2

9:18pm Sun 23 Dec 12

plautus says...

Why is there no police investigation into this appalling behaviour? Was no individual person criminally responsible?

And what did John Rostill. the hospital's chief executive during the relevant years, receive his OBE for? Services to the Liverpool Pathway?

As your report says "an 84-year-old man starved to death at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch in June 2009".

It is simply not acceptable for these sort of wrongdoings to be shrugged off with comments along the lines of "It happened a long time ago" and "We're doing better now"

Those guilty of these crimes against the elderly and infirm should be tracked down and held to account.
Why is there no police investigation into this appalling behaviour? Was no individual person criminally responsible? And what did John Rostill. the hospital's chief executive during the relevant years, receive his OBE for? Services to the Liverpool Pathway? As your report says "an 84-year-old man starved to death at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch in June 2009". It is simply not acceptable for these sort of wrongdoings to be shrugged off with comments along the lines of "It happened a long time ago" and "We're doing better now" Those guilty of these crimes against the elderly and infirm should be tracked down and held to account. plautus

10:05pm Sun 23 Dec 12

very angry2 says...

id like ask john rostill face to face with a before and after picture of my mum and the dnr form(do not resusitate) that we only found when she came out in a plain white envelope hidden away in tablets that we were never told or informed of is this your duty of care is your duty of care to leave people in a hospital bed and waste away reabilitation..is giving somebody so wasted unable to walk the drug halopradol(google it its basically a shut up drug) fitting a seat ring alarm your idea of getting someone walking your idea of reabilitation??? utter utter disgrace i am more than angry and we have keep quiet uptill now never mind your waffle and pr machine worcestershire nhs trust ill finish with this you robbed us of a mum that all we now see and hear of her is i cant walk i hope you can sleep at night for what your hospitals duty of care has done i shall never never forgive you elderly well god forbid if you go in any of the worcestershire nhs acute trust hospitals
id like ask john rostill face to face with a before and after picture of my mum and the dnr form(do not resusitate) that we only found when she came out in a plain white envelope hidden away in tablets that we were never told or informed of is this your duty of care is your duty of care to leave people in a hospital bed and waste away reabilitation..is giving somebody so wasted unable to walk the drug halopradol(google it its basically a shut up drug) fitting a seat ring alarm your idea of getting someone walking your idea of reabilitation??? utter utter disgrace i am more than angry and we have keep quiet uptill now never mind your waffle and pr machine worcestershire nhs trust ill finish with this you robbed us of a mum that all we now see and hear of her is i cant walk i hope you can sleep at night for what your hospitals duty of care has done i shall never never forgive you elderly well god forbid if you go in any of the worcestershire nhs acute trust hospitals very angry2

10:21pm Sun 23 Dec 12

VantagePoint says...

Speaking as someone who had a relative in Worcestershire Royal Hospital in 2006 I can only hope that conditions have changed. The ward was filthy and it was no surprise when she was moved on to another hospital for rehab that she was found to have MRSA. The highly paid people in charge of these hospitals should be sacked.
Speaking as someone who had a relative in Worcestershire Royal Hospital in 2006 I can only hope that conditions have changed. The ward was filthy and it was no surprise when she was moved on to another hospital for rehab that she was found to have MRSA. The highly paid people in charge of these hospitals should be sacked. VantagePoint

10:28pm Sun 23 Dec 12

monkey600 says...

It is still going on. My mother, an ex nurse herself, has been an inpatient at Worcester Royal Hospital on two occasions this year.

Her treatment was, for the most part, excellent, but there were a number of instances when her buzzer was blatantly ignored.

It seems that some staff would prefer that patients soiled their beds, rather than help them to the toilet or supply a bed pan.

I guess much of this should be put down to poor management, both from the middle and from the top. Too much paperwork, staff demoralised by a poisonous cost cutting atmosphere, replacing higher graded staff with less qualified cheaper grades, happening in all disciplines, not just nursing.
It is still going on. My mother, an ex nurse herself, has been an inpatient at Worcester Royal Hospital on two occasions this year. Her treatment was, for the most part, excellent, but there were a number of instances when her buzzer was blatantly ignored. It seems that some staff would prefer that patients soiled their beds, rather than help them to the toilet or supply a bed pan. I guess much of this should be put down to poor management, both from the middle and from the top. Too much paperwork, staff demoralised by a poisonous cost cutting atmosphere, replacing higher graded staff with less qualified cheaper grades, happening in all disciplines, not just nursing. monkey600

11:39pm Sun 23 Dec 12

rubalish says...

I will never forgive Worcester for the total lack of care shown to my late husband .
He suffered a stroke was never seen by a stroke consultant neither did he get to a stroke ward .
He was left two days without a drip and died on a main ward after we asked for him to be moved from M.A.U where he was ignored all day
.He was so distressed in his final hours and this picture will live with me forever he was uncomfortable and throwing his hands in the air .
It was written in his notes on Saturday death likely but that was never relayed to me or my family , had we have known this we would never had gone home and left him to die alone !
By the way it was a Friday night when he took the stroke .He passed away on Sunday had it have been during the week I feel sure he would have been seen by a stroke consultant and hopefully had palliative care .
May be the outcome may have been the same but had we been better informed we would have been able to be there to hold his hand in his final hours !I am left feeling so saddened by it all I will haunt me for ever 1
I will never forgive Worcester for the total lack of care shown to my late husband . He suffered a stroke was never seen by a stroke consultant neither did he get to a stroke ward . He was left two days without a drip and died on a main ward after we asked for him to be moved from M.A.U where he was ignored all day .He was so distressed in his final hours and this picture will live with me forever he was uncomfortable and throwing his hands in the air . It was written in his notes on Saturday death likely but that was never relayed to me or my family , had we have known this we would never had gone home and left him to die alone ! By the way it was a Friday night when he took the stroke .He passed away on Sunday had it have been during the week I feel sure he would have been seen by a stroke consultant and hopefully had palliative care . May be the outcome may have been the same but had we been better informed we would have been able to be there to hold his hand in his final hours !I am left feeling so saddened by it all I will haunt me for ever 1 rubalish

9:36am Mon 24 Dec 12

MulsanneChap says...

When my dad was admitted to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital 2 years ago, the level of care and competence was shockingly bad. The left had didn't know what the right hand was doing, internal communication was poor, and most alarmingly, they didn't know what drugs had been administered and when. This NHS Trust needs a big shake up and heads really should roll.
When my dad was admitted to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital 2 years ago, the level of care and competence was shockingly bad. The left had didn't know what the right hand was doing, internal communication was poor, and most alarmingly, they didn't know what drugs had been administered and when. This NHS Trust needs a big shake up and heads really should roll. MulsanneChap

9:48am Mon 24 Dec 12

More Tea Vicar says...

The actual details of the poor care are appalling enough.

But the response is even worse. Hiding the truth for as long as possible, then trotting out the usual 'lessons have been learnt and everything is fine now' line seems par for the course.

The compensation paid seems pitiful compared to the salaries 'earned' and the compensation paid out to people at the top of the local public sector.

And it's us, the taxpayer, that's paying. Surely the people responsible should be named, shamed, blamed, made to pay, sacked, and prosecuted.
The actual details of the poor care are appalling enough. But the response is even worse. Hiding the truth for as long as possible, then trotting out the usual 'lessons have been learnt and everything is fine now' line seems par for the course. The compensation paid seems pitiful compared to the salaries 'earned' and the compensation paid out to people at the top of the local public sector. And it's us, the taxpayer, that's paying. Surely the people responsible should be named, shamed, blamed, made to pay, sacked, and prosecuted. More Tea Vicar

10:06am Mon 24 Dec 12

More Tea Vicar says...

rubalish wrote:
I will never forgive Worcester for the total lack of care shown to my late husband .
He suffered a stroke was never seen by a stroke consultant neither did he get to a stroke ward .
He was left two days without a drip and died on a main ward after we asked for him to be moved from M.A.U where he was ignored all day
.He was so distressed in his final hours and this picture will live with me forever he was uncomfortable and throwing his hands in the air .
It was written in his notes on Saturday death likely but that was never relayed to me or my family , had we have known this we would never had gone home and left him to die alone !
By the way it was a Friday night when he took the stroke .He passed away on Sunday had it have been during the week I feel sure he would have been seen by a stroke consultant and hopefully had palliative care .
May be the outcome may have been the same but had we been better informed we would have been able to be there to hold his hand in his final hours !I am left feeling so saddened by it all I will haunt me for ever 1
That's a horrible, and regrettably fairly typical sounding, story, and I utterly sympathise with you.
[quote][p][bold]rubalish[/bold] wrote: I will never forgive Worcester for the total lack of care shown to my late husband . He suffered a stroke was never seen by a stroke consultant neither did he get to a stroke ward . He was left two days without a drip and died on a main ward after we asked for him to be moved from M.A.U where he was ignored all day .He was so distressed in his final hours and this picture will live with me forever he was uncomfortable and throwing his hands in the air . It was written in his notes on Saturday death likely but that was never relayed to me or my family , had we have known this we would never had gone home and left him to die alone ! By the way it was a Friday night when he took the stroke .He passed away on Sunday had it have been during the week I feel sure he would have been seen by a stroke consultant and hopefully had palliative care . May be the outcome may have been the same but had we been better informed we would have been able to be there to hold his hand in his final hours !I am left feeling so saddened by it all I will haunt me for ever 1[/p][/quote]That's a horrible, and regrettably fairly typical sounding, story, and I utterly sympathise with you. More Tea Vicar

2:03pm Mon 24 Dec 12

crazytattoo says...

I beg to differ. although some people have experienced terrible care at this hospital, when my father was in ITU following a serious car crash, it was obvious to my family and i that he was under the best care possible. The team up there performed and exemplary job in their care and efforts
I beg to differ. although some people have experienced terrible care at this hospital, when my father was in ITU following a serious car crash, it was obvious to my family and i that he was under the best care possible. The team up there performed and exemplary job in their care and efforts crazytattoo

10:32pm Mon 24 Dec 12

VantagePoint says...

One of the worst things about the ward at Worcestershire Royal Hospital where my relative was treated after her stroke was that the sister in charge didn't speak English. We tried to make her understand that we needed some sort of ticket / pass for the car park as we were going to be visiting every day for some weeks and she didn't understand a word of what we said. Conditions on the ward were so disgusting that my sister went to find matron, or whoever was in charge, to show her how dirty the place was. I 'll never understand how the trust could employ staff who couldn't hold a basic conversation in English. How could they possibly understand drug doses and doctors' instructions?
One of the worst things about the ward at Worcestershire Royal Hospital where my relative was treated after her stroke was that the sister in charge didn't speak English. We tried to make her understand that we needed some sort of ticket / pass for the car park as we were going to be visiting every day for some weeks and she didn't understand a word of what we said. Conditions on the ward were so disgusting that my sister went to find matron, or whoever was in charge, to show her how dirty the place was. I 'll never understand how the trust could employ staff who couldn't hold a basic conversation in English. How could they possibly understand drug doses and doctors' instructions? VantagePoint

11:16am Tue 25 Dec 12

TmP says...

There is excellent care at the hosp as well as the bad however the bad care should not have happened in the first place. From Worcester Trust we get the same platitudes every time "we have improved there is a system in place so it should not happen again" and yet it does and will. It should not have happened in the first place, standards are lax and will continue to be lax whilst there are insufficient staff on the wards to care for the patients. The Trust are continuing to cut staff and costs so it will be happening and most likely happening today due to insufficient staffing numbers of all grades.
Relatives must continue to draw attention to poor care if they say nothing it will continue.
There is excellent care at the hosp as well as the bad however the bad care should not have happened in the first place. From Worcester Trust we get the same platitudes every time "we have improved there is a system in place so it should not happen again" and yet it does and will. It should not have happened in the first place, standards are lax and will continue to be lax whilst there are insufficient staff on the wards to care for the patients. The Trust are continuing to cut staff and costs so it will be happening and most likely happening today due to insufficient staffing numbers of all grades. Relatives must continue to draw attention to poor care if they say nothing it will continue. TmP

9:45pm Wed 26 Dec 12

very angry2 says...

total farce i see redditch mp and mrs venables from the trust spouting the pr waffle old cases again how on earth you can say things have changed when it hasnt is beyond belief
total farce i see redditch mp and mrs venables from the trust spouting the pr waffle old cases again how on earth you can say things have changed when it hasnt is beyond belief very angry2

12:37pm Thu 27 Dec 12

dolly woman says...

My mother was in Worcester Royal Hospital in 2008 for twelve weeks. Her hip operation failed, she got MRSA in the wound. She fell out of bed. She had dementia and was not being fed properly and went down from 8 stone to 6stone 9. I complained to no avail.
My mother was in Worcester Royal Hospital in 2008 for twelve weeks. Her hip operation failed, she got MRSA in the wound. She fell out of bed. She had dementia and was not being fed properly and went down from 8 stone to 6stone 9. I complained to no avail. dolly woman

8:35pm Thu 27 Dec 12

Hack says...

The question no-one has asked is who has been disciplined, the result, and who has been dismissed and on what terms?
The question no-one has asked is who has been disciplined, the result, and who has been dismissed and on what terms? Hack

5:07pm Sat 29 Dec 12

More Tea Vicar says...

crazytattoo wrote:
I beg to differ. although some people have experienced terrible care at this hospital, when my father was in ITU following a serious car crash, it was obvious to my family and i that he was under the best care possible. The team up there performed and exemplary job in their care and efforts
then you got lucky, which confirms my impression, which is that it is a mixed bag.

There is some up-to-expectation care. But likewise, a lot of the care is either catastrophically bad, as the hospital's admission confirms, or not particularly good.

The latter point is proven right by the nursing bodies' recent emphasis on the so-called 'kindness' agenda.

In my dealings with the NHS, I think the thing that has bothered me most is the way patients are treated as an inconvenience, and actually treated with less respect and politeness than they would get at the average supermarket.

The whole idea of the NHS continually fouling up then buying people off with taxpayers' money is utterly unacceptable.

Those involved in the poor care should be named, shamed, sacked and de-barred. And it is them, not us, that should pay the compo.
[quote][p][bold]crazytattoo[/bold] wrote: I beg to differ. although some people have experienced terrible care at this hospital, when my father was in ITU following a serious car crash, it was obvious to my family and i that he was under the best care possible. The team up there performed and exemplary job in their care and efforts[/p][/quote]then you got lucky, which confirms my impression, which is that it is a mixed bag. There is some up-to-expectation care. But likewise, a lot of the care is either catastrophically bad, as the hospital's admission confirms, or not particularly good. The latter point is proven right by the nursing bodies' recent emphasis on the so-called 'kindness' agenda. In my dealings with the NHS, I think the thing that has bothered me most is the way patients are treated as an inconvenience, and actually treated with less respect and politeness than they would get at the average supermarket. The whole idea of the NHS continually fouling up then buying people off with taxpayers' money is utterly unacceptable. Those involved in the poor care should be named, shamed, sacked and de-barred. And it is them, not us, that should pay the compo. More Tea Vicar

5:58pm Sat 29 Dec 12

Omicron says...

"Starved to death in a hospital"
Isn't this manslaughter?”
"Starved to death in a hospital" Isn't this manslaughter?” Omicron

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