Hospital apologises to 341 patients who caught Covid on its wards

League of Friends shop at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn reopens

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has completed 80pc of its review. - Credit: QEH

Letters of apology are to be sent to more than 340 patients and the families of those who caught coronavirus on the wards of a Norfolk hospital. 

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn, confirmed 341 patients are believed to have or definitely caught Covid while a patient at the QEH. 

Last July, the hospital announced it would be launching reviews into the death of every coronavirus patient - the first hospital in the country to do so. 

At its May board of trustee meeting Caroline Shaw, chief executive, said the hospital had begun the first phase of its duty of candour exercise. 

Of those, 304 of the cases were during wave two, with the remaining 37 patients from the first wave being contacted.

At least 99 patients are known to have died after becoming infected. 

So far the review has contacted around 80pc of patients and families with the trust saying there were some families from the first wave yet to be contacted. 

Caroline Shaw said: “The trust takes openness and transparency with patients and their families very seriously. 

"As part of our commitment to duty of candour, we are contacting and writing to every patient who contracted Covid-19 in our care, or the next of kin for those patients who sadly died, to ensure that they are aware that their loved one is believed to have caught Covid-19 in hospital and to ensure that they know we are very sorry for this.

"This is also our opportunity to explain to our patients and their families the actions we are taking any lessons learnt.”

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The hospital also released a statement from the chief executive and chairman of the board of trustees Steve Barnett explaining how patients, their families and staff were being supported. 

The statement said: “This includes the work we need to do to improve communications between our wards and our patients and families, especially when visiting restrictions are in place, and also minimising patient moves (especially moves late at night).

“We have committed to publishing the results of this project with our patients, commissioners, staff and the communities we serve upon completion.

“This is likely to be of real benefit right across the NHS.”

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