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Stafford Hospital apologises to family - and the community - for 'unacceptable' care given to patient who died in July

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

By Robin Scott

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STAFFORD Hospital bosses have apologised after admitting the care given to a patient who died in July was less than acceptable.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Maggie Oldham said the trust was served with three improvement notices last month after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the death.

"These notices relate to falls' risk assessment, documentation and handover," she said. "We have a three month period to demonstrate that we are compliant and not in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act."

The patient, cared for at Cannock Chase Hospital and transferred to A&E at Stafford died of natural causes on the Acute Medical Unit in July.

"We've been in contact with the family so they're aware of the situation and we've apologised for the shortcomings in the care provided. I would also like to apologise to our local community, who have continued to demonstrate such support for our hospitals," she said.

"It's very disheartening for them and for our many staff, who have worked so hard over the past few years in extremely difficult circumstances to make care here much safer for patients, to learn there are still occasions when the level of care given by colleagues to patients is less than acceptable.

"This has made us all the more determined to pursue our aim of providing every single one of our patients with consistently safe and compassionate care."

Mrs Oldham said a review of Stafford and Cannock Chase Hospitals would ensure "robust systems and practices" were in place to make sure patients were not put at risk, as well as reminding staff or their professional and legal responsibilities.

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