Portsmouth NHS Trust apologises for ‘deeply distressing’ failings at QA after patient death

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GROVELING hospital bosses have apologised ‘unreservedly’ for a series of blunders during the treatment of a patient at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Dr John Knighton, medical director at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust – which runs QA – stressed significant improvements had been made following the death of Andrew Dale in January 2017.

Andy Dale

Andy Dale

An inquest into Mr Dale’s death found that his family had sat by the bedside of their loved one without being told he had died.

He said: ‘I unreservedly apologise to the family and friends of Mr Dale and send my sincere condolences. 

‘It is deeply distressing to all of us when the care we give doesn’t meet all of the high standards we strive to achieve. This is why we undertook a detailed and thorough review of the whole of Mr Dale’s care, to identify and ensure we acted on any areas for improvement.

Read more: QA Hospital bosses must learn lessons after series of mistakes

‘All of the recommendations and learnings identified have been completed.  These include enhanced education, training and advice about the management of deteriorating patients for all staff groups, patient observations and escalating cases to senior colleagues.’

One of the hospital’s shortcomings was a failure to escalate news of Mr Dale’s deteriorating conditions to more senior staff.

To tackle this, the trust has introduced the Time to ACT quality improvement initiative which aimed to improve the care of all deteriorating patients. 

The scheme, which was ‘working well’, has improved how patients are monitored and treated at night.

‘This has been developed by a cross-speciality working group and signposts staff to next steps. We are already seeing significant improvements from this project,’ Dr Knighton added