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Vulnerable patient deaths prompt hospitals warning

The deaths of three adults with learning disabilities at a failed hospital should prompt a review to prevent further "lethal outcomes" at similar facilities, a report said.

The report looked at the deaths of Joanna Bailey, 36, and Nicholas Briant, 33, and Ben King, 32, between April 2018 and July 2020. It found here were significant failures in the care of the patients at Jeesal Cawston Park, Norfolk.

Ms Bailey, who had a learning disability, autism, epilepsy and sleep apnoea, was found unresponsive in her bed and staff did not attempt resuscitation, while the mother of Mr King said he was "gasping and couldn't talk" when she last saw him. Mr Briant's inquest heard he died following cardiac arrest and obstruction of his airway after swallowing a piece of plastic cup.

The report found:

  • "Excessive" use of restraint and seclusion by unqualified staff.
  • Concerns over "unsafe grouping" of patients.
  • Overmedication of patients.
  • High levels of inactivity and days of "abject boredom".

Relatives described "indifferent and harmful hospital practices" and said their questions and "distress" were ignored

Joan Maughan, who commissioned the report as chairwoman of the Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board, said: "This is not the first tragedy of its kind and, unless things change dramatically, it will not be the last."

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Source: BBC News, 9 September 2021


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