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NHS trust apologises after staff accused of restraining elderly man 19 times

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An NHS trust has offered an unreserved apology to an elderly patient and his family after they accused hospital staff of restraining him 19 times in order to forcibly administer treatment.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust admitted that care for the man, who has dementia, “fell far short” of what patients should expect.

The 77-year-old had been admitted to the William Harvey Hospital last November for urinary retention problems, according to a recent BBC investigation.

In February, The Independent revealed that a police investigation had been launched into an alleged assault against an elderly man at the hospital after nurses and carers were filmed by hospital security staff holding the man’s arms, legs and face down while they inserted a catheter.

A whistleblower told The Independent that the incident was being covered up by the trust and staff were told: “Don’t discuss it, don’t refer to it at all.”

On Wednesday, the trust said its investigation had found a failure to alert senior medics to the difficulties being experienced in caring for the patient.

Changes to dementia care including ward reorganisation, training and recruitment are underway, said a spokesperson, who added: “We apologise unreservedly to the patient and his family for the failings in his care, this fell far short of what patients should expect.”

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Source: The Independent, 14 October 2020

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