Basildon University Hospital Admits Safety Law Breach

(BBC) – A HOSPITAL IN ESSEX where a severely disabled man died has admitted breaching health and safety law.

Kyle Flack, 20, from Stanford-le-Hope, who had severe cerebral palsy, was found dead at Basildon University Hospital, on 12 October 2006.

His head had become trapped in the rails around his bed, an inquest heard.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brought the prosecution, accusing the hospital of failing to ensure the patient’s safety.

Matthew Taylor, prosecuting on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), told magistrates Mr Flack died at the hospital, two days after being admitted with stomach problems.

“The failings of the hospital were causative of death,” Mr Taylor told magistrates.

“Not only do we say that the trust’s failings caused the death of Kyle but we also say they failed to heed previous warnings.”

After the hearing, Mr Flack’s mother, Gill, condemned some care standards at the hospital as “absolute crap”.

She said bosses should be “held accountable” and called for “staff sackings”.

Maggie Rogers, director of nursing at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust , said: “Firstly, I repeat our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Kyle Flack.

“I can reassure our patients that since his tragic death in 2006, we have taken action that includes improving the management of equipment and the care of our patients with special needs.”

The hospital will be sentenced on 15 March after magistrates committed the case to Basildon Crown Court.

Legionnaires’ Cases Are Confirmed

(BBC) – TWO PATIENTS at Basildon University Hospital in Essex have Legionnaires’ disease, it has been confirmed.

Tests were carried out at the weekend after two people were suspected of having contracted the illness.

Chief Executive Alan Whittle said the hospital was the probable source based on tests of water samples.

He said both patients had responded to antibiotics, although one patient was still in a critical condition. No more suspected cases have been identified.

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal infection that is caused by the bacteria legionella.

The bacteria is commonly found in sources of water such as rivers and lakes but can sometimes find their way into artificial water supply systems.

Mr Whittle said: “We routinely and regularly treat and check the water system and independent audits are carried out to ensure our processes are rigorous.

“Experts agree that the legionella bacteria is a common risk in large buildings with an extensive plumbing system.

“We accepted some time ago the advice of experts that we will never be able to completely eradicate the bacteria, but we have worked hard to minimise the risk.”

Legionnaires’ Probe At Basildon Hospital

(BBC) – AN INVESTIGATION has been started at Basildon University Hospital after two patients were suspected of having contracted the illness.

Tests are now being conducted to discover the source of the suspected outbreak, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Swabs from both the patients, who were staying in different parts of the hospital, have been sent for tests.

The spokeswoman said: “We are investigating two suspected cases of legionnaires’ disease.

“We do lots of testing for legionella in patients who have suspicious respiratory infections.

“We have had problems with the disease before so we are acutely aware of the risk of the bacteria.

“We have particularly high levels of control and are constantly performing checks and taking preventative measures.”

She said the last outbreak of the disease at the hospital was in 2007.

“It is accepted by experts that it is practically impossible to eradicate the legionella bacteria completely on an ongoing basis from large and complex water systems,” she added.

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially lethal infection that is caused by the bacteria legionella.

The bacteria is commonly found in sources of water such as rivers and lakes; but can sometimes find their way into artificial water supply systems.

It is estimated 10% of people who contract legionnaires’ disease will die from complications arising from infection.

In November, inspectors from the Care Quality Commission criticised Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Blood stains had been found on floors and curtains and badly soiled mattresses in the A&E department with stains soaked through.

However, on 23 December the watchdog said that hygiene standards were improving and that the trust has taken action to address concerns about infection prevention and control.