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Found 154 results
  1. News Article
    Mortuary abuser David Fuller was able to offend without being caught because of "serious failings" at the hospitals where he worked, an inquiry has found. Between 2007 and 2020, Fuller abused the bodies of at least 101 women and girls in Kent hospitals. Inquiry chair Sir Jonathan Michael said "there were missed opportunities to question Fuller's working practices". He added the abuse "had caused shock and horror across our country and beyond". The inquiry has made 17 recommendations to prevent "similar atrocities". Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 November 2023
  2. Content Article
    This is the phase 1 report by the independent inquiry into the issues raised by the David Fuller case. The inquiry has been established to investigate how David Fuller was able to carry out inappropriate and unlawful actions in the mortuary of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and why they went apparently unnoticed, for so long. A phase 2 report, looking at the broader national picture and the practices and procedures in place to protect the deceased in the NHS and other settings, is planned for publication at a later date.
  3. News Article
    Police are investigating 105 cases of alleged medical negligence at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton amid claims of a cover-up. Specialist officers from the National Crime Agency and Sussex police are looking into cases of harm, which include at least 40 deaths, in the general surgery and neurosurgery departments between 2015 and 2021. An email from Sussex police, released to The Times after a court application, revealed the huge investigation is looking into 84 cases connected to neurology and 21 related to gastroenterology. Most of the families are yet to be told that their case is among them. Officers were called in by the senior coroner after she heard of allegations made by two consultant surgeons at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, one of the largest NHS organisations with 20,000 staff. The trust has been accused of bullying the whistleblowers and attempting to cover up the circumstances of the deaths. Mansoor Foroughi, a consultant neurosurgeon, was sacked for “acting in bad faith” in December 2021 after raising concerns about 19 deaths and 23 cases of serious patient harm. Another whistleblower, Krishna Singh, a consultant general surgeon, claimed that he lost his post as clinical director because he said the trust promoted insufficiently competent surgeons, introduced an unsafe rota and had cut costs too quickly. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 27 November 2023
  4. Content Article
    Surviving in Scrubs have published their first report 'Surviving healthcare: Sexism and sexual violence in the healthcare workforce' is now live. The report is an analysis of 150 survivor stories submitted to their website since they launched in 2022. It details the findings on the incidents, factors and challenges unique to healthcare that permit sexism and sexual violence in the healthcare workforce. The report contains recommendations to healthcare organisations to better support survivors and end these behaviours.
  5. News Article
    Scotland's largest health board has been named as a suspect in a corporate homicide investigation following the deaths of four patients at a Glasgow hospital campus. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) informed families of the development via a closed Facebook group set up during a water contamination crisis. The board confirmed it had received an update from the Crown Office. But it added there was no indication prosecutors had "formed a final view". Police Scotland launched a criminal investigation in 2021 into a number of deaths at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) campus, including that of 10-year-old Milly Main. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) instructed officers to investigate the deaths of Milly, two other children and 73-year-old Gail Armstrong. Milly's mother previously told a separate public inquiry into the building of several Scottish hospitals that her child's death was "murder". A review earlier found an infection which contributed to Milly's death was probably caused by the QEUH environment. Read full story Source: BBC News, 13 November 2023
  6. News Article
    Priory Healthcare faces legal action following the death of a vulnerable man who was hit by a train after leaving Birmingham’s Priory Hospital Woodbourne in September 2020. Matthew Caseby, 23, detained under the Mental Health Act, escaped the hospital by climbing a 2.3-metre fence. The inquest jury, which heard the University of Birmingham graduate should have been under constant observation but was left alone, reached a conclusion that his death “was contributed to by neglect”. Concerns were raised about the hospital's record-keeping, risk assessments, and fence safety. Following the inquest, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) charged Priory Healthcare with two offences under the Health and Safety Act 2008, related to failing to provide safe care and treatment, and exposing a patient to avoidable harm. Read full story Source: ITV, 6 November 2023
  7. News Article
    A former Pennsylvania nurse admitted she tried to kill 19 people at multiple different care facilities, piling dozens of new charges on the woman who allegedly administered lethal doses of insulin to numerous patients, killing two. On Thursday, the state's attorney general's office announced the new charges against Heather Pressdee, who now faces two counts of first-degree murder, 17 counts of attempted murder and 19 counts of neglect of a care-dependent person. The 41-year-old nurse was first arrested in May for killing two nursing home patients and injuring a third. From 2020 up until her arrest, prosecutors say Pressdee gave 19 patients at five different care facilities excessive amounts of insulin, some of whom were diabetic and needed it and others who did not. The plaintiff would typically administer these insulin doses overnight while fewer staff members were working and as "emergencies wouldn't prompt immediate hospitalization," Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry said. "If Pressdee sensed the victim would 'pull through' there is a pattern of her taking additional measures to try to kill the victims before they could be sent to the hospital by either administering a second dose of insulin or the use of an air embolism to ensure death," the criminal complaint, which also said Pressdee admitted to harming patients with intent to kill, said. Read full story Source: Scripps News, 3 November 2023
  8. News Article
    An NHS trust and ward manager have appeared in court charged with the manslaughter of a 22-year-old mental health patient who died in hospital in July 2015. Alice Figueiredo was found dead at Goodmayes Hospital in east London, and an investigation into her death was opened in April 2016. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) authorised the Met Police to charge North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) with corporate manslaughter last month following a five-year investigation. It is just the second NHS Trust to face manslaughter charges. The Trust is additionally charged with an offence under section three of the Health and Safety at Work Act in connection with mental health patient Ms Figueiredo's death. Ward manager Benjamin Aninakwa also faces a charge of gross negligence manslaughter and an offence under section seven of the Health and Safety at Work act. NELFT is just the second ever NHS Trust believed to have been charged with corporate manslaughter, after Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust was charged over the death of a woman who underwent an emergency Caesarean in 2015. Read full story Source: Mail Online, 6 October 2023
  9. News Article
    Thousands of complaints made against nurses and midwives were rejected by the watchdog without investigation last year as it battles a huge backlog amid concerns rogue staff are being left unchecked. The Nursing and Midwifery Council has rejected hundreds more cases a year since 2018, including 339 where nurses faced a criminal charge, 18 for alleged sexual offences and 599 over allegations of violence in 2022-23, according to data shared exclusively with The Independent. The new figures come after The Independent revealed shocking allegations that nurses and midwives accused of serious sexual, physical and racial abuse are being allowed to keep working because whistleblowers are being ignored and that the NMC was failing to tackle internal reports of alleged racism. And now, a new internal document, obtained by The Independent, reveals more staff have come forward to raise concerns since our expose. Former Victims’ Commissioner Dame Vera Baird KC said the backlog of complaints was “worryingly high” and called for urgent action to tackle it. Read full story Source: The Independent, 19 October 2023
  10. News Article
    An employment and equality lawyer will lead investigations into claims of racism, sexism and toxic culture at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The nursing regulator has appointed Ijeoma Omambala KC to review claims that fitness to practise cases have been mishandled, especially those involving racism, discrimination, sexual misconduct and child protection. She will lead a concurrent investigation into how complaints about allegations were handled. "I’m sorry anyone has concerns about our culture, and the regulatory decisions we take. We’re committed to a rigorous, transparent and independent response". Read full story (paywalled) Source: Nursing Standard, 17 October 2023
  11. News Article
    Several people have been admitted to hospital in Austria after using suspected fake versions of Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drug Ozempic, the country’s health safety body has said, the first report of harm to users as a European hunt for counterfeiters widened. The patients were reported to have suffered hypoglycaemia and seizures, serious side-effects that indicate that the product contained insulin instead of Ozempic’s active ingredient semaglutide, the health safety regulator Bundesamt für Sicherheit im Gesundheitswesen (BASG) said on Monday. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) warned last week that pens falsely labelled as Ozempic were in circulation, and Austria’s criminal investigation service said on Monday that the fake injection pens could still be in circulation. The Danish maker of the drug, Novo Nordisk, has warned of a rise in the online offers of counterfeit Ozempic as well as its weight-loss drug Wegovy, both based on semaglutide. “It appears that this shortage is being exploited by criminal organisations to bring counterfeits of Ozempic to market,” said BASG. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 24 October 2023
  12. News Article
    Senior doctors say female medics have felt pressured into sexual activity with colleagues. Four women who head up medical royal colleges in Wales have written an open letter describing misogyny, bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace. They told BBC Wales that female staff had been asked for sex by male colleagues while on shift. The Welsh government said: "Harassment and sexual violence is abhorrent and has no place in our NHS." Chairwoman of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, Dr Maria Atkins, said: "I've heard from multiple women over the years that during night-time shifts, they've been propositioned by male colleagues and felt pressured to engage in sexual acts. "When they've refused they are penalised. "It can be very damaging to some less experienced or younger women, because they will be discouraged from engaging with a team, which might have been the specialty of medicine that they wanted to progress their career in." Read full story Source: BBC News, 22 September 2023
  13. News Article
    Police are investigating possible corporate manslaughter at the hospital where serial killer Lucy Letby worked. The former nurse, 33, was jailed in August for murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six others at the Countess of Chester Hospital. Cheshire Police said the latest investigation was in its early stages. Lawyers representing some of the victims' families said they were "reassured" steps were being taken to consider the actions of management. Organisations and companies can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care under The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. Det Supt Simon Blackwell, of Cheshire Police, said the inquiry would focus on the indictment period of the charges for Letby from June 2015 to June 2016. He said the investigation would consider areas "including senior leadership and decision making to determine whether any criminality has taken place". "At this stage we are not investigating any individuals in relation to gross negligence manslaughter," he added. Read full story Source: BBC News, 4 October 2023
  14. News Article
    More than 1 in 10 sexual harassment complaints against doctors are not investigated by the General Medical Council because of an “arbitary” rule, the Observer has revealed. According to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, 13% of sexual misconduct complaints made between the years 2017-18 and 2021-22 were closed without investigation because the GMC is prevented from considering alleged incidents more than five years after the event. As part of the council’s remit to protect patient safety and improve medical education and practice across the UK it investigates any kind of complaint against doctors. The figures show the GMC refused to investigate 170 complaints relating to sexual assault, attempted rape, and rape in the period analysed. In 22 of those cases the five-year rule was cited. It received 566 sexual harassment complaints in the same period. Anthony Omo, the GMC’s general counsel and director of fitness to practise, told the Observer: “We can and do waive the five-year rule where there are grave allegations involving sexual assault or rape. In many cases involving sexual allegations, the GMC’s position will be that such serious misconduct is incompatible with continued registration.” A government consultation in February heard that the five-year-rule was “arbitrary” and “a barrier to public protection” as it allowed doctors who may be guilty of inappropriate behaviour to continue practising. However, despite commitments from the Department of Health and Social Care to scrap the limitation as a “top priority”, no date has been set. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 30 September 2023
  15. Content Article
    Extensive cultural change is needed in the NHS to tackle sexual violence and prevent further institutional harm to patients and staff, writes Philippa Greenfield, co-presidential lead for women and mental health, consultant general adult psychiatrist, named doctor for adult safeguarding and trauma informed lead.
  16. News Article
    A police investigation into allegations of cover-up and medical negligence over dozens of deaths at the Royal Sussex county hospital (RSCH) in Brighton has been expanded to include more recent cases, amid internal claims about dangerous surgery. In June the Guardian revealed that Sussex police were investigating the deaths of about 40 patients in the general surgery and neurosurgery departments at the RSCH. The force initially said the investigation, since named Operation Bramber, related to allegations of medical negligence in these departments between 2015 and 2020. It has now extended the scope of the investigation to more recent cases, amid internal allegations that the departments continue to be unsafe and fail to properly review serious incidents. An insider said the police should review what was considered to be an avoidable death after a procedure in July. The source said some of the surgeons remained a danger to the public. “You would not want your family members touched by these people,” they said. They added: “This is not a historic issue, it is ongoing. The same surgeons that were involved in previous problems remain in place.” They cited a woman who lost the power of speech in April after an alleged mistake in surgery to remove a brain tumour led to a stroke, and a man who was left with a brain abscess in May after being operated on despite a heightened risk of infection. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 13 September 2023
  17. News Article
    Female surgeons say they are being sexually harassed, assaulted and in some cases raped by colleagues, a major analysis of NHS staff has found. The Royal College of Surgeons said the findings were "truly shocking". Sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape have been referred to as surgery's open secret. There is an untold story of women being fondled inside their scrubs, of male surgeons wiping their brow on their breasts and men rubbing erections against female staff. Some have been offered career opportunities for sex. Nearly two-thirds of women surgeons that responded to the researchers said they had been the target of sexual harassment and a third had been sexually assaulted by colleagues in the past five years. Women say they fear reporting incidents will damage their careers and they lack confidence the NHS will take action. It is widely accepted there is a culture of silence around such behaviour. Surgical training relies on learning from senior colleagues in the operating theatre and women have told us it is risky to speak out about those who have power and influence over their future careers. Read full story Source: BBC News, 12 September 2023 Related reading on the hub: Breaking the silence: Addressing sexual misconduct in healthcare Calling out the sexist and misogynist culture within healthcare: a blog by Dr Chelcie Jewitt, co-founder of the Surviving in Scrubs campaign GMC's Good medical practice 2024
  18. Content Article
    Research published in the British Journal of Surgery demonstrates that sexual harassment and sexual assault are commonplace within the surgical workforce and rape happens. This report from the Working Party on Sexual Misconduct in Surgery is a call to action, with a series of recommendations, for healthcare institutions to face up to the shocking reality of sexual misconduct within their organisations.  Further reading: Sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape by colleagues in the surgical workforce, and how women and men are living different realities: observational study using NHS population-derived weights Calling out the sexist and misogynist culture within healthcare: a blog by Dr Chelcie Jewitt, co-founder of the Surviving in Scrubs campaign GMC's Good medical practice 2024
  19. Content Article
    This research examined sexual misconduct occurring in surgery in the UK, so that more informed and targeted actions can be taken to make healthcare safer for staff and patients. A survey assessed individuals’ experiences with being sexually harassed, sexually assaulted, and raped by work colleagues. Individuals were also asked whether they had seen this happen to others at work. Compared with men, women were much more likely to have seen sexual misconduct happening to others, and to have it happen to them.  Individuals were also asked whether they thought healthcare-related organizations were handling issues of sexual misconduct adequately; most did not think they were. The General Medical Council (GMC) received the lowest evaluations.  The results of this study have implications for all stakeholders, including patients. Sexual misconduct was commonly experienced by respondents, representing a serious issue for the profession. There is a widespread lack of faith in the UK organizations responsible for dealing with this issue. Those organizations have a duty to protect the workforce, and to protect patients. Further reading: Breaking the silence: Addressing sexual misconduct in healthcare Calling out the sexist and misogynist culture within healthcare: a blog by Dr Chelcie Jewitt, co-founder of the Surviving in Scrubs campaign GMC's Good medical practice 2024
  20. News Article
    North East London Foundation Trust has been charged with corporate manslaughter – making it only the second NHS provider to be prosecuted for the crime. The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised the Metropolitan Police to bring a charge of corporate manslaughter against the mental health provider in regard to the death of Alice Figueiredo at the trust’s Goodmayes Hospital on 7 July 2015. Goodmayes ward manager Benjamin Aninakwa has also been charged with gross negligence manslaughter, and an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act. The trust and Mr Aninakwa will appear at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 4 October. The prosecution follows a five year investigation by Met detectives. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 7 September 2023
  21. News Article
    Health secretary, Steve Barclay, has named Lady Justice Thirlwall as the chair of the independent inquiry into the crimes committed by former Countess of Chester Hospital nurse, Lucy Letby. The inquiry was given statutory powers last week and will be led by one of the country’s most senior judges, who currently sits on the Court of Appeal. The announcement came during Barclay’s speech in the House of Commons, where he also announced that the chair of the Essex mental health inquiry will be Baroness Lampard, who investigated the crimes of Jimmy Saville in a similar inquiry led by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). The rest of the health secretary’s address centred around patient safety and what the government has done, is doing and will do. Barclay drew attention to the appointment of Dr Aidan Fowler as NHS England’s first ever national director of patient safety in 2018, and thus the following patient safety strategy in 2019. Read full story Source: National Health Executive, 4 September 2023
  22. Content Article
    This is an oral statement given to the House of Commons by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay MP, to update on the Lucy Letby statutory inquiry.
  23. News Article
    The inquiry into how nurse Lucy Letby was able to murder seven babies will now have greater powers to compel witnesses to give evidence. In a significant move, ministers upgraded the independent inquiry after criticism from families of the victims that it did not go far enough. The inquiry, ordered after Letby was found guilty this month, was not initially given full statutory powers. Health Secretary Steve Barclay said he had listened to the families. He said he had decided a statutory inquiry led by a judge was the best way forward and "respects the wishes" of the families. Mr Barclay said the key advantage was the power of compulsion. "My priority is to ensure the families get the answers they deserve and people are held to account where they need to be," he added. He said an announcement about who would chair the inquiry would be made in the coming days - ministers have already said it will be a judge. Richard Scorer, a lawyer who is representing two of the families, welcomed the government's announcement. "It is essential that the chair has the powers to compel witnesses to give evidence under oath, and to force disclosure of documents. Without these powers, the inquiry would have been ineffectual and our clients would have been deprived of the answers they need and deserve," he said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 30 August 2023
  24. News Article
    A paediatric nurse who called in to LBC news during a discussion on Lucy Letby, says she can see how Letby was able to get away with her crimes as she herself was 'blacklisted' when she reported a colleague. Watch the video Source: LBC News, 19 August 2023
  25. News Article
    Lucy Letby sat with her parents in a meeting with senior managers at the Countess of Chester Hospital, where she worked, waiting patiently for an apology. She had prepared a statement that was read out by her parents to Tony Chambers, the hospital’s chief executive, about being bullied and victimised on the neonatal unit. It was December 22, 2016, and for the previous 18 months, two doctors on the unit had been trying to find an answer for a series of mysterious deaths of babies. Their detective work had led them to a single common denominator: Letby. The neonatal nurse had been on shift for each of the incidents. Rumours of a killer on the ward had spread and Letby had complained about the doctors and their finger-pointing, claiming she was being wrongly blamed. Chambers, who had trained as a nurse, was convinced by Letby’s account, and in front of her parents, John and Susan, offered sincere apologies on behalf of the hospital trust. The doctors in question would be “dealt with’’. Except the doctors were right. By that point Letby had secretly murdered seven babies and tried to kill six more, one of them twice. An investigation by The Sunday Times, based on a cache of internal documents, reveals in detail how the hospital delayed calling the police for months and that senior management, including the board, sided with Letby against doctors after commissioning perfunctory investigations. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 19 August 2023
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