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Patient dies after sustaining a brain injury from 'catastrophic' fall in Norfolk hospital

PUBLISHED: 08:15 26 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:17 26 March 2018

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

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An investigation is underway after a patient died from a brain injury following a fall in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.

It was one of many falls reported in February this year at the hospital.

A report to the board of directors at the QEH states there were 80 reported falls in February alone, a marked increased compared to previous months.

One of those falls was labelled “catastrophic” as the patient sustained a brain injury and died in the Leverington escalation ward.

Another fall was categorised as “major” after the patient sustained a broken hip in the Elm Ward.

The report states a further 50 falls were recorded as negligible, 27 minor and one moderate.

The number of falls in February were calculated as 6.14 per 1000 bed days which is above the national average rate of 6 per 1000 bed days.

The catastrophic fall is being treated as a serious incident and an investigation is underway.

As a consequence of the incident, the nursing team have increased the number of staff and skill mix of staff in the Leverington ward, which currently looks after 33 patients.

The ward was visited by the West Norfolk Clinical Commission Group (CCG) on Monday, March 2, where concerns were raised about the high number of agency staff.

In an action plan report, it states the Leverington ward is staffed predominantly by agency staff and there are around four to five permanent staff.

It continued: “As part of the core staff, there are junior doctors, but otherwise staff are not regular staff.

“Nurses, healthcare assistants and auxiliaries are often drafted in to the ward to work shifts from elsewhere in the Trust as well as agency staff being used.”

Other observations made by the CCG include agency nurses not being able to undertake discharges, lack of access to the IT network and a doctor being caught browsing the internet on their mobile phone.

Issues being addressed as part of the action plan were largely highlighted as being complete or on track for delivery.

The hospital was contacted to comment on the report but no-one was available.

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