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Found 96 results
  1. News Article
    Nurse Lucy Letby sent a sympathy card to the grieving parents of a baby girl just weeks after she allegedly murdered the infant, a court has heard. She is accused of trying to kill the premature baby, referred to as Child I, three times before succeeding on a fourth attempt on 23 October 2015. She denies murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others. Manchester Crown Court was shown an image of a condolence card Ms Letby sent to the family of Child I ahead of her funeral on 10 November. The card was titled "your loved one will be remembered with many smiles". Inside, Ms Letby wrote: "There are no words to make this time any easier. "It was a real privilege to care for [Child I] and get to know you as a family - a family who always put [Child I] first and did everything possible for her. "She will always be part of your lives and we will never forget her. "Thinking of you today and always. Lots of love Lucy x." It is alleged that before murdering Child I, Ms Letby attempted to kill the infant on 30 September and during night shifts on 12 and 13 October. The prosecution said she harmed the premature infant by injecting air into her feeding tube and bloodstream before she eventually died in the early hours of 23 October 2015. Read full story Source: BBC News, 2 February 2023
  2. News Article
    A further 1,500 patients of convicted breast surgeon Ian Paterson are to be recalled and their treatment investigated. Spire Healthcare, which runs private hospitals, said patients were being contacted after a trawl of IT systems. Paterson was jailed for 20 years in 2017 for 17 counts of wounding people with intent. The healthcare provider said it remained committed to tracking down all "outstanding patients". The former surgeon subjected hundreds of patients to needless and damaging surgery over 14 years. A 2020 independent inquiry ruled "a culture of avoidance and denial" left him free to perform botched operations in NHS and private hospitals in Birmingham and Solihull. The inquiry recommended all 11,000 patients Paterson treated should be recalled for review. Read full story Source: BBC News, 1 February 2023
  3. News Article
    The National Crime Agency and Interpol has been drafted in by detectives investigating a junior doctor accused of multiple sexual assaults on children and adults in A&E departments. Last year, Staffordshire police began an investigation into a 35-year-old medic's work at two hospitals, the Royal Stoke University Hospital in Staffordshire and the Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, West Midlands. Source: Sunday Times Shared by Shaun Lintern Tweet, 29 January 2023
  4. News Article
    An acute trust chief executive has criticised the lack of communication during last month’s nursing strike, warning that he and other accountable officers could face manslaughter charges if patients are put in danger by decisions made by senior colleagues elsewhere in the system. Matthew Hopkins told a board meeting that Worcestershire Royal Hospital’s emergency department was “pushed to the extreme” on 20 December, with 176 people squeezed into a facility originally built for 50. He said that without warning from regional colleagues, an additional 18 people were brought in to the hospital by the ambulance service and ended up in corridors, at which point the trust declared a critical incident. The chief executive officer said he wanted to put on record an apology to staff for the incident, adding that he was “not aware” of the situation until it unfolded. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 17 January 2023
  5. News Article
    Victims and family members affected by the contaminated blood scandal are calling for criminal charges to be considered as the public inquiry into the tragedy draws to a close. While the inquiry, which will begin to hear closing submissions on Tuesday, cannot determine civil or criminal liability, people affected by the scandal are keen for the mass of documents and evidence accumulated over more than four years to be handed over to prosecutors to see whether charges can be brought. About 3,000 people are believed to have died and thousands more were infected in what has been described as the biggest treatment disaster in the history of the NHS. The inquiry has heard evidence that civil servants, the government and senior doctors knew of the problem long before action was taken to address it and that the scandal was avoidable. But no one has ever faced prosecution. Eileen Burkert, whose father, Edward, died aged 54 in 1992 after – like thousands of others – contracting HIV and hepatitis C through factor VIII blood products used to treat his haemophilia, said the inquiry had shown there was a “massive cover-up”. She said: “In my eyes it’s corporate manslaughter. You can’t go giving people something that you know is dangerous, and they just carried on doing it. As far as my family’s concerned, they killed our dad and they killed thousands of other people and there’s been no recognition for him since he died, there’s been nothing. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 January 2023 See UK Infected Blood Inquiry website for further details on the inquiry.
  6. News Article
    Police are investigating allegations of rape of a child involving two staff members at a scandal-hit mental health hospital, The Independent can reveal. Thames Valley Police confirmed it has launched an investigation after a report last month of rape made by a former patient of Taplow Manor, a private hospital in Maidenhead, Berkshire, run by The Huntercombe Group. The incident was reported to have taken place in 2019. Mark McGhee, a solicitor for Hutcheon Law, who is representing the family of the patient in a clinical negligence claim, said the allegation had been raised to the police about the patient who was a child and that the allegation involves two staff members at the time. In October, The Independent and Sky News revealed allegations of “systemic abuse” from 20 patients across The Huntercombe Group’s children’s mental health hospitals – Taplow Manor, Ivetsey Bank near Stafford, Watcombe Hall in Torquay, and The Huntercombe Hospital Norwich. Since the report, 30 more patients have come forward with allegations of poor treatment and the provider now also faces nine legal claims from former patients. Thames Valley Police are also investigating an incident involving the death of a child at the Maidenhead hospital in February. The CQC is conducting a separate criminal investigation into the serious incident which resulted in the death of the young person. Read full story Source: The Independent, 19 December 2022
  7. News Article
    Lucy Letby used a plunger to force milk and air into one of the babies she is accused of attempting to murder, a medical expert has told a court. The alleged attack caused the infant’s stomach to distend to such a degree that she then projectile vomited a “massive” amount of milk so violently that the material left her cot and splashed over a chair several feet away. Staff at the Countess of Chester Hospital managed to save Baby G’s life but the incident was so catastrophic that it caused the child severe brain damage. Seven years later she still suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Dr Dewi Evans, a consultant paediatrician called in by the prosecution, said the use of a plunger on the end of a syringe was the only explanation for the baby’s sudden collapse in the early hours of 7 September 7 2015. Letby, 32, of Hereford, is accused of murdering seven children in the neonatal unit of the hospital in Cheshire, and of ten attempted murders, between June 2015 and June 2016. She denies all the charges. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 13 December 2022
  8. News Article
    Six NHS staff workers are typically reported every week in England for sexually harassing a patient or colleague, the Telegraph can reveal. Nearly a fifth of English trusts have recorded a rise in reports of sexual harassment within their services since 2017, while millions have been spent by the NHS on legal claims specific to sexual abuse over the same time period, according to newly obtained data. Health secretary Steve Barclay described the findings as “worrying” and urged NHS leaders to take “robust action in response to any such incidents in their organisation”. Patient Safety Learning said the Telegraph's “deeply troubling” revelations demonstrated an abuse of the “significant power imbalance” that exists between vulnerable patients and their care providers. “Healthcare professionals need to recognise the power they hold over patients,” said chief executive Helen Hughes. “Inappropriate behaviours undermine trust in healthcare system and the ability to deliver safe care.” “Clinicians, managers and healthcare leaders have both a professional and moral responsibility to patients to ensure that there is a safe culture in healthcare settings and that misconduct is not tolerated," said Ms Hughes. As part of its investigation into sexual harassment within the NHS, the Telegraph uncovered the case of a mentally incapacitated patient who was raped by her healthcare worker and subsequently fell pregnant. The healthcare worker, who is in his 30s, was recently jailed for eight months after pleading guilty to sexual activity with a mentally disordered female. Joe Matchett, an expert lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who has secured settlements for survivors of abuse, said his firm continues to “represent a number of patients subjected to terrible abuse at the hands of hospital staff who have betrayed their position of trust in the worst imaginable way”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 11 December 2022
  9. News Article
    A carer who murdered the elderly woman he was employed to look after had a history of violent crime including actual bodily harm, a report found. A safeguarding adults review over the death of a 77-year-old Devon woman in 2021 criticised working practices among organisations involved in her care. Devon and Cornwall Police did not disclose information about domestic abuse callouts involving the killer in a DBS check by the care provider. He was jailed for life in July 2022. The woman had seen her killer as "a grandson" figure, it said. The 35-year-old killer attacked his victim after she discovered he had stolen several thousand pounds from her. The had no previous employment experience of care before being taken on as her sole carer by Complete Quality Care Ltd, an independent care provider. Read full story Source: BBC News, 24 November 2022
  10. News Article
    Hospital doctors failed to share with child protection services a list of "significant" injuries a five-year-old boy suffered 11 months before he was murdered, a case review has found. Logan Mwangi had a broken arm and multiple bruises across his body when he was taken to A&E in August 2020. But a paediatric consultant said these injuries were accidental and did not make a child protection referral. Logan, from Bridgend, was murdered by his mother, stepfather and a teenager. A Child Practice Review (CPR) has looked at how different agencies were involved with Logan's family in the 17 months before his death. Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board said it welcomed the commissioning of an independent review into how it identifies and investigates non-accidental injuries. The report said that if the injuries had been shared with social services, appropriate action could have been taken to safeguard Logan. Jan Pickles, the independent chair of the review panel, said it was a "a significant missed opportunity". She added: "Had further information from health been shared it most likely, though we cannot say for sure because of hindsight bias, would have triggered a child protection assessment in line with the joint agreed guidelines, as the nature of those injuries clearly met the threshold." Read full story Source: BBC News, 24 November 2022
  11. News Article
    Ministers are considering the use of body cameras within mental health units as part of the government’s response to NHS abuse scandals, The Independent has learned. Senior sources with knowledge of the conversation between the Department for Health and Social Care and the NHS have raised concerns about the plans. There are fears that using the technology in mental health units could have implications for human rights and patient confidentiality. One senior figure criticised the proposals and said: “The DHSC are all talking about body-worn cameras, closed circuit TV, etc... The whole thing is fraught with huge difficulties regarding human rights, about confidentiality. They are thinking about it [cameras] and it is ridiculous.” The DHSC’s mental health minister Maria Caulfield said in parliament earlier this month that she and health secretary Steve Barclay were due to meet with NHS officials to discuss what response was needed to recent exposes of abuse within mental health services. It comes after a string of reports from The Independent, BBC Panorama and Dispatches revealing abuse of inpatients. The Panorama and Dispatches reports included video evidence of abuse captured by hidden cameras. Following a scathing independent review into the deaths of three young women, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust said it is piloting the use of body-worn cameras across 10 inpatient wards “to support post incident reviews for staff and patients.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 23 November 2022
  12. News Article
    No formal risk assessment was done on a man who beat a fellow care home resident to death, a review has found. Alexander Rawson attacked 93-year-old Eileen Dean with a metal walking stick at a care home in south-east London. Mrs Dean suffered catastrophic injuries to her head and body and died later in hospital. A review found Fieldside Care Home in Catford did not provide the specialist mental health services that Rawson - who had a history of violence - needed. Rawson, who had a history of mental health problems caused by alcoholism, was 62 when he was placed in the home a few days before Christmas 2020. He was put in the room next to Mrs Dean and, in the first week of 2021, he went into her room at night and attacked her. In a review published on Friday, the Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board said Rawson had been moved into the home after being an inpatient at a psychiatric unit run by the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. The care home was the only place that agreed to take him after his discharge from hospital. In the months before he was moved into the care home, Rawson was involved in at least 34 recorded incidents of violence or threats to patients and health staff, including a threat to kill. Before he was placed in the home, no attempts were made to find out whether Rawson had come into contact with the criminal justice system over his behaviour, the report found. It states that the care home had asked about the risks Rawson posed before they took him and had been reassured by a social worker and medical staff. Read full story Source: BBC News, 12 November 2022
  13. Content Article
    91% of female doctors have experienced sexism at work, according to a survey published by the BMA in August 2021. 56% of female respondents have experienced unwanted verbal conduct and 31% have experienced unwanted physical conduct.[1] These numbers prove that there is a culture of sexism and misogyny within healthcare. To clarify those terms, sexism is defined as prejudice, stereotyping or discrimination based upon an individual’s sex, whereas misogyny has a more sinister edge, defined as a dislike of, contempt for or ingrained prejudice against women.[2] It is important to highlight the distinction here as the perpetrators of sexist attitudes and behaviours often do not believe that they hate women – after all they have wives, mothers, daughters or sisters. However, whether or not the intention behind treating women differently to men is one coming from a place of kindness or contempt does not matter. Treating women differently to men disadvantages everyone as we all end up consigned to limited gender roles. So what does this look like within healthcare? “I am in a management role and lead a large team. I have had several experiences of men within my team who are much more junior than me being invited to represent our discipline in senior meetings or on interview panels instead of me… despite them not being qualified enough to take on those tasks.” Testimony from Surviving In Scrubs campaign website. “When I was an FY1 working in orthopaedics my supervisor told me that I should go into primary care because as a female that was the best career choice for me. It would make life easier to have children and I would be able work part time to look after them. We had previously never discussed my career options/aspirations or whether I wanted/could have children.” Testimony from Surviving In Scrubs campaign website. These incidences of undermining the authority and expertise of female healthcare workers, favouring less qualified men and making assumptions about a woman’s perceived desire for a ’traditional‘ family life over career aspirations are commonplace in healthcare. They are by no means the only examples of how women are treated as less valuable employees within the healthcare system. “As a house-officer I was groped whilst assisting a mastectomy. The consultant anaesthetist slid his hand under the drapes and groped me between my legs. I was so shocked I froze." Testimony from Surviving In Scrubs campaign. website “A patient threatened to rape me. My (male) manager laughed and said ’well what do we expect, bringing a beautiful woman on the ward?’” Testimony from Surviving In Scrubs campaign website. Sexual harassment and sexual assault occur within healthcare. A paper published in 2021 authored by Simon Fleming and Becky Fisher has shone a light on the issue within surgical training.[3] Again more work needs to be done on defining the prevalence of these criminal behaviours throughout the whole of the healthcare workforce. This is where the Surviving in Scrubs campaign comes in. This campaign was set up by myself and Dr Becky Cox earlier this year. We are currently collecting anonymous testimonies from ANY healthcare professional who has experienced sexism, misogyny, sexual harassment, sexual assault or even rape whilst in work. This can be at the hands of colleagues or patients. So far, we have over 120 testimonies and we have more coming in every day. We are collecting this data to show the human cost of these cultural problems. But also, to demonstrate the strength and power that each individual voice and testimony can have in bringing about change. The collective narrative that we have already established from a variety of healthcare backgrounds – doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, clinical psychologists, administrative staff, paramedics, etc – has already led to key stakeholders taking notice. We have had meetings with the GMC, NHS England, representatives from royal colleges, the BMA and other unions and governing bodies. There is buy in, and a drive to bring about change. But we need to keep pushing! We need more stories and voices so that we are able to represent survivors of this terrible culture within healthcare. Every voice that speaks up makes a difference. If you’ve experienced issues like these, we need your voice too! Email Surviving in Scrubs with your story or use one of the following social media platforms: Website: www.survivinginscrubs.co.uk Twitter: @scrubsurvivors @ByChelcie Instagram: @scrubsurvivors References 1. BMA. Sexism in medicine. British Medical Association, 2021. 2. Wolf N, Bindel J, Power N, et al. Sexism and misogyny: what's the difference? The Guardian, 2012. 3. Fleming S, Fisher RA. Sexual assualt in surgery: a painful truth. The Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 2021; 103 (6): 272-322.
  14. News Article
    Patient care is still being undermined at NHS mental health trusts and social care providers that were hit by a major cyber attack in August, doctors have warned. Three months after the major attack wiped out NHS systems, patients’ records are missing, safety has been compromised, and medication doses are at risk of being missed amid ongoing “chaos”, i News has been told. Dr Andrew Molodynski, mental health lead at the British Medical Association, said the prolonged systems failure has damaged care because records are “integral to patients’ safety”. Mental health patients’ records and safeguarding alerts have not been available in some trusts since 4 August, when NHS software provider, Advanced, was hit by a ransomware attack which targeted its Carenotes records system. A total of 12 NHS mental health trusts have been impacted by the cyber attack, potentially impacting tens of thousands of patients as well as social care providers. According to Advanced’s own hazard log spreadsheet, seen by i News, the risks associated with disruption to its server include “medication doses missed”, “required number of carers not met”, “basic needs not met, such as nutrition and personal care”, and “health needs not met, such as wound care and physical support”. Advanced said: “We recognise that the restoration process has taken longer than we had initially anticipated and we have sought to communicate as clearly and transparently as we have been able.” It said planned dates for restoring the system for each client has been communicated directly and that the “overall restoration programme remains on track”. Read full story Source: i News, 4 November 2022
  15. News Article
    A nurse murdered seven babies and attempted to kill 10 others by poisoning them on a hospital neonatal unit where she was a “constant malevolent presence”, a court has heard. Lucy Letby, 32, fatally injected newborns with insulin, air or milk during night shifts when she knew their parents would not be present, a jury was told. One of the babies was just 24 hours old when Letby allegedly injected him with air, killing him just 90 minutes after she came on shift. The nurse tried to kill his twin sister the next day, it is alleged. The court was told that Letby, who was trained to care for the most seriously ill babies, developed an “unusual interest” in the parents of some of her 17 alleged victims and in some cases tracked them on Facebook. Jurors were told that she was the only “common denominator” that connected the deaths of seven infants and the “catastrophic” collapses of 10 others at the Countess of Chester hospital between June 2015 and June 2016. She allegedly tried to kill some babies more than once – in one case, three times – using various methods. Nick Johnson KC, prosecuting, told the jury: “We say the collapses and deaths of the 17 children named on the indictment were not normally occurring tragedies. They were all the work, we say, of the woman in the dock who we say was a constant malevolent presence when things took a turn for the worse for these children.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 10 October 2022
  16. News Article
    The NHS’ mental health director has branded abuse exposed at a city inpatient unit as “heartbreaking and shameful” and ordered a national review of safety across all providers. In a letter to all leaders of mental health, learning disability and autism providers, shared with HSJ, Claire Murdoch responded to BBC Panorama’s exposure of patient abuse at the Edenfield Centre run by Greater Manchester Mental Health FT by warning trusts they should leave “no stone unturned” in seeking to eradicate and prevent poor care. An investigation by the programme found a “toxic culture of humiliation, verbal abuse and bullying” at the medium-secure inpatient unit in Prestwich near Manchester. In response, Ms Murdoch said the mindset that “it could happen here” must be at the front and centre of national and local approaches, adding that trusts which already adopt this outlook are most likely to identify and prevent toxic and closed cultures. She also urged all boards to urgently review safeguarding of care in their organisations and identify any immediate issues requiring action now, such as freedom to speak up arrangements, complaints, and care and treatment reviews. A separate national probe into the quality of inpatient care is due to launch imminently. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 30 September 2022
  17. News Article
    Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said a number of staff at its Edenfield Centre had been suspended after an undercover investigation found what was described as a "toxic culture" of humiliation, verbal abuse, and bullying of patients. BBC Panorama reporter, Alan Haslam, spent 3 months as a support worker at the Centre in Prestwich. Wearing a hidden camera, he said he observed staff swearing at patients, mocking them, and falsifying observation records. A consultant psychiatrist, Dr Cleo Van Velsen, who was asked by the BBC to review its footage, said it showed a "toxic culture" among staff at the Centre with "corruption, perversion, aggression, hostility, [and a] lack of boundaries". Dr Van Velsen told the BBC that staff members at the Edenfield Centre acted "like a gang, not a group of healthcare professionals". Patients at the Centre told the undercover reporter that they felt "bullied and dehumanised". Greater Manchester Police said it was working with the Crown Prosecution Service with a view to prosecuting anyone who had committed a crime. In a statement, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are taking the allegations raised by Panorama very seriously since the BBC sent them to us earlier this month. We have put in place immediate actions to protect patient safety, which is our utmost priority. "Since then, senior doctors at the Trust have undertaken clinical reviews of the patients affected, we have suspended a number of staff pending further investigations, and we have also commissioned an independent clinical review of the services provided at the Edenfield Centre. " Read full story Source: Medscape. 29 September 2022
  18. News Article
    An ambulance trust accused of withholding key evidence from coroners was previously warned its staff needed training to ‘understand the real risk of committing criminal offences’ in relation to inquests into patient deaths. North East Ambulance Service, which has been accused by whistleblowers of withholding details from coroners in more than 90 deaths, was told by its lawyers in 2019 about serious shortcomings in its processes for disclosing information, according to internal documents obtained by a campaigner. According to the documents, the lawyers said trust staff could “pick and choose” documents to release to coroners “regardless of relevance.” The following year, an audit report said the issues had not been addressed. Whistleblowers’ concerns about the trust were first reported by The Sunday Times in the spring, with a review highlighting several cases between 2018 and 2019 where key facts were omitted in disclosures to coroners. But campaigner Minh Alexander has since obtained new details of warnings that were being made to internally, from lawyers and auditors who were advising the trust. Read full story Source: HSJ, 20 September 2022
  19. News Article
    A legal bid to suspend the public inquiry into alleged abuse at Muckamore Abbey hospital has been dismissed by a High court judge. The applicant in the case has been granted anonymity. They challenged Health Minister Robin Swann's refusal to suspend the public inquiry until criminal proceedings against them had concluded. Lawyers argued that the applicant's article six right to a fair trail had been jeopardised. The applicant's lawyers cited "adverse and prejudicial" commentary already in the media. Rejecting the application the judge, Mr Justice Colton, said that the applicant's article six rights were fully protected within the criminal trial process. The judge referred to submissions from the applicant's legal team who had argued that if the inquiry recommences as planned this month, it would consider evidence reported by the media which could affect the ability of a jury to act impartially. The judge told the court there was nothing to suggest that there had been a "virulent media campaign" about the applicant. Read full story Source: BBC News, 15 September 2022
  20. News Article
    Police are preparing to investigate alleged mistreatment of patients at a mental health unit. The Edenfield Centre based in the grounds of the former Prestwich Hospital in Bury is at the centre of the claims. The unit cares for adult patients. The Manchester Evening News understands that action was taken after the BBC Panorama programme embedded a reporter undercover in the unit and then presented the NHS Trust which runs it with their evidence. A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: "We are aware of the allegations and are liaising with partner agencies to safeguard vulnerable individuals and obtain all information required to open an investigation." A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said: "We can confirm that BBC Panorama has contacted the Trust, following research it conducted into the Edenfield Centre. We would like to reassure patients, carers, staff, and the public that we are taking the matters raised by the BBC very seriously". "Immediate action has been taken to address the issues raised and to ensure patient safety, which is our utmost priority. We are liaising with partner agencies and stakeholders, including Greater Manchester Police. We are not able to comment any further on these matters at this stage." Read full story Source: Manchester Evening News, 14 September 2022
  21. News Article
    A care home nurse has been struck off after he gave a brain tumour patient sugar and water instead of pain relief. Vijayan Rajoo said he felt the patient was "just being lazy" and did not need pain relief. Rajoo, 64, also failed to check supplies in the controlled drug cupboards at the start and end of his shifts, according to a misconduct panel. He was struck off for 18 months after a deputy manager at the home, St Fillans in Colchester, Essex, discovered 20ml of liquid morphine Oramorph was unaccounted for in June 2019. Rajoo later confessed to not giving the brain tumour patient a dose of Oramorph as a form of pain relief as he felt the patient "did not need it". It was reported the patient could immediately tell the sugar and water mix "didn't taste right". The misconduct panel found all charges against Rajoo proven. In their conclusions, the panel said Rajoo showed a "serious lack of compassion". Read full story Source: ITV News, 13 August 2022
  22. News Article
    Criminals have issued ‘demands’ to an NHS IT supplier targeted by a cyber attack, leading health chiefs to fear they have accessed confidential patient data, HSJ has learned. IT firm Advanced was targeted last week. The company provides electronic patient records to several trusts and most NHS 111 providers. Multiple government agencies – including the National Crime Agency and GCHQ – are now working to identify the extent of the damage caused by the attackers, while leaders of affected mental health trusts have warned of a “pretty desperate” situation as staff are unable to access vital patient records. In a statement issued last night, Advanced said: “With respect to potentially impacted data, our investigation is under way, and when we have more information about potential data access or exfiltration, we will update customers as appropriate.” Read full story (paywalled) Source HSJ, 11 August 2022