QA Hospital bosses must learn lessons after series of mistakes | News Comment

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

Health staff left the family at the bedside of their loved one for nearly 10 minutes before telling them he had died.

Andy Dale

Andy Dale

There can be no worse blunder than that experienced by the partner and family of Andrew Dale.

Full story: Family’s shock discovery of their loved one dead in his hospital bed

They were at his bedside talking to him, unaware that he had passed away.

It was one of several shortcomings which came to light during the inquest into Mr Dale’s death.

The hearing heard Mr Dale had suffered from a rare auto-immune disease which caused his muscles to waste away and that he had died 19 days after being admitted to hospital when he ruptured his spleen in a fall by his hospital bed – doctors and nurses failing to spot a fatal bleed which led four hours later to a heart attack.

Having become ‘frail’ and ‘weak’ nurses were supposed to monitor what Mr Dale ate and when. However, staff failed to log his food after January 11 last year – 13 days before he died.

Queen Alexandra Hospital has stressed that significant improvements have been made following Mr Dale’s death.

Medical director Dr John Knighton said: ‘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 thorough review of the whole of Mr Dale’s care, to identify and ensure we acted on any areas for improvement.

‘These include enhanced education, training and advice about the management of deteriorating patients, patient observations and escalating cases to senior colleagues.’

These improvements will no doubt bring some comfort to the 62-year-old’s family but there can still be no excuse they were not told of his passing.