Seven patients died after safety blunders

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A new report has revealed seven patients died as a result of safety blunders while under the care of the trust which runs the Conquest Hospital.

The NHS figures showed how 28 patients suffered severe harm with seven proving fatal.

Entitled The Organisation Patient Safety Incident Report, it revealed 912 people suffered harm as result of their care under East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust which runs the Conquest and Eastbourne District General hospital.

A total of 2,867 incidents were recorded between October 1 last year and March 31.

The incidents were noted by trust staff and rated for the degree of harm they caused with 1,948 resulting in no harm, 623 a low degree of harm, 261 a moderate degree and 28 severe harm.

The incidents involved everything from medical equipment to staffing levels and clinical assessments to implementation of care.

Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust recorded 2,752 incidents, 28 severe harm cases and five deaths.

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS recorded 4,097 incidents, four severe harm cases and two deaths.

The previous six month report from April 1, 2012 to September 2012 revealed 2,643 incidents reported with eight deaths resulting from 32 cases of severe harm.

Margaret Williams, chairman of Hands off The Conquest, said: “This is shocking to hear. Nobody should be dieing if they go into hospital due to the lack of care they received.

“If you’re a patient you would be worried about going into the Conquest now.

“It is not satisfactory and needs thorough investigation. Is this the norm?

“The trust will claim it is being more open and transparent but lessons must be learned from this. The local population needs reassurance.

“No one should be suffering severe harm in the one place they rely on for complete and total care.”

Rob Toth, spokesman for East Sussex Health, said: “The figures published show that almost 99 per cent of incidents resulted in no permanent harm to patients.

“A very small number of incidents may have contributed to a patient death.

“This is a judgement and declaration that we ourselves make and is always followed up by a detailed investigation during which the family is kept fully informed.

It may not mean that the incident was the direct cause of the death, particularly when a patient was very sick.”