Last week Kettering Hospital made the news following a decision to withhold the findings of a ‘serious incident investigation’ after a 17 year girl passed away the day after an appendix operation. Victoria Harrison was admitted to the hospital with appendicitis in 2012. During surgery one of Victoria’s arteries was damaged and caused a bleed. The issue was corrected in theatre but the nurses caring for her afterwards were not told that she had lost blood and so did not complete the correct post-operative checks. Victoria passed away the following day.
An investigation found that 43 blunders were made in her treatment. These included problems with overnight monitoring, no formal pain assessment, Victoria’s abdomen not being checked and inaccurate recording of information.
Initially Kettering Hospital chose not to make these findings public fearing it would cause their staff ‘additional stress and pressure in addition that that which they have already experienced during the inquest and investigation”. The BBC challenged this decision under the Freedom of Information act and an independent panel decided that it was in the public interest to release the findings. According to the report 10 members of staff were disciplined following Victoria’s case but no doubt this is small consolation to Victoria’s friends and family members who are grieving her loss.
Woman Dies at LRI Following Botched Gall Bladder Op
A report released by the university hospitals of Leicester revealed how a locum surgeon operated on the wrong part of a patient for 2 hours during a gall bladder operation. Theatre staff became concerned about the procedure and a senior surgeon was eventually bought in to finish the operation. Due to a haemorrhage caused by the mistakes that were made during the initial stages of the operation the patient, Lalitaben Patel, was left with brain damage. Sadly, several months later Mrs Patel died from her injuries.
Following the case, the hospital came under fire for not having a robust enough process for checking the competencies of locum surgeons. The coroner who was involved in the case even wrote to the Department of Health to express concerns over the lack of supervision that the locum surgeon received, especially considering that he had only been at the hospital a number of weeks. The trust apologised to Mrs Patel’s family and said that they had since changed their vetting processes for all locum surgeons to ‘ensure that they are capable of operating to the same high standard’ as the surgeons that they employ. Mrs Patel’s daughter said she was shocked that ‘such mistakes could be made in a modern hospital’.
The surgeon involved was reported to the General Medical Council and has had restrictions placed on his licence to practise.