Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Review into allegations that Jersey's version of Harold Shipman killed patients ten years ago

Jersey Police said it will review an investigation into allegations that a former nurse killed more than a dozen severely ill patients.

Allegations were first made against the staff nurse, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at Jersey General Hospital a decade ago and a police investigation was triggered, but it was later dropped on legal advice.

Today, States of Jersey Police said the case files will be reviewed and key people involved will be interviewed.

The allegations include evidence from a colleague who believed the nurse was determined to end the lives of severely ill patients by adjusting their drug intake.

According to the leaked report, the average death rate between 1998 and 1999 on the ward concerned was 4.5 deaths per month.

But in February 1999 there were eight deaths in four nights when the nurse was on duty, and a further five deaths in March also when the nurse was on shift.

The nurse is no longer employed at the hospital.
Source: Belfast Telegraph
BBC News: Nurse 'gave patient suicide tip'
Full 'leaked' report here: Senator Stuart Syvret

Monday, 23 March 2009

Jersey's version of Harold Shipman: Mass murder in NHS gets covered up the Jersey way

The following post is written by Senator Stuart Syvret


A Death-Delivering Maniac?

Jersey’s Then Attorney General Michael Birt Pulls the Plug On The Police Investigation.

So it begins.

It is with trepidation I publish the material below – for reasons which will become plain within the first few paragraphs.

The document I publish here was tabled before the court in London, as one item of evidence in the Applicant’s bundles.

To be clear – this went before the two judges – and even then, they chose to disregard the public interest – instead asserting that we should take up these matters with the Jersey justice apparatus.

Notwithstanding the fact that the same administration of justice apparatus was responsible for covering-up what is revealed.

The document I publish is a secret Police report from 1999.

It is self-explanatory.

The subject of this report – one Andrew Charles Marolia – came to the attention of the Police because of – comparatively – minor offences involving the stealing of drugs from the Jersey General Hospital.

He was charged with these comparatively minor offences, pleaded guilty – and was sentenced to two years unsupervised probation.

I was a member of the then Health & Social Services Committee, and later became President of the Committee in December, 1999.

Marolia was sacked from the General Hospital in response to the comparatively minor offences.

However, being a former military Nurse, who has served in the first Gulf war – he found a ready stream of politicians and others to lobby on his behalf to be allowed to be re-employed in the Hospital.

On one occasion he appeared before the H & SS Committee to make a formal appeal.

It was rejected because of the conviction for the minor offences.

Still, I continued to be lobbied by politicians and others, who wanted the Committee to employ Marolia again.

I raised the issue of this lobbying in a face-to-face meeting with the then Chief executive of Health & Social Services, Graham Jennings.

I did not want Marolia to be re-employed, and Jennings was certainly of the same opinion.

He explained that Marolia was obviously a wholly unsuitable individual to be in health care. Jennings went on to say that, in any event, we couldn’t be expected to take Marolia back even if we wanted to – as he was deeply unpopular with other staff – who were “mounting a vendetta against him”. To illustrate the extremity and unreasonableness of the “personality clash”, Jennings said to me, “a member of staff has even suggested that he killed people. It’s utter rubbish. But don’t worry – the Police have investigated the matter, and whilst they were too gung-ho and wanted to start exhuming the non-cremated bodies, the Attorney General Michael Birt has told them to drop it, because he doesn’t believe their are any grounds for securing a conviction.”

At the time, I took this at face value. After all, if your professional Health Chief Executive tells you this – and relays to you the fact that no less an authority than the Attorney General has dismissed the allegations – who is a mere politician to doubt them?

But – some years later – around 2005, perhaps – a conscientious member of staff at H & SS leaked this Police report to me.

As is clear from the Report, Jennings had a copy – but he never told my Committee or me of its existence.

It took a whistle-blower to reveal it.

When I read the report you are about to read, I was speechless.


Read the full report here
Related links:
Jersey: Corrupt cesspit
AC Associated Content
Allit, Shipman and...?

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Cure the NHS

'Cure the NHS' group was created by people who have lost relatives or were victims of poor care and support within mid Staffordshire Foundation trust Hospitals at Stafford and Cannock. Poor management and lack of suitably trained and dedicated staff are to blame and we are committed to change the management and ethos of the trust so we may all feel safe and secure if admitted to the Hospitals.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

'Shocking' treatment at Staffordshire hospital

Patients admitted for emergency treatment at an NHS Trust were subjected to “shocking and appalling” care that included untrained receptionists carrying out medical checks and heart monitors being switched off, a report concluded today.

The Healthcare Commission, the NHS standards watchdog, said that evidence suggested that as many as 400 deaths at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust could have been prevented and may have been the result of poor care.

The commission’s investigation, based on more than 300 interviews and an examination of more than 1,000 documents, uncovered inadequately trained staff who were too few in number, junior doctors left in charge at night, and patients left without food, drink or medication as their operations were repeatedly cancelled.

Some patients were in pain or needed the toilet, sat in soiled bedding for several hours at a time and were not given their regular medication, the commission heard.

Receptionists with no medical training were expected to assess patients coming into A&E.

Describing the episodes as a “gross and terrible breach of trust of the patients the NHS seeks to serve”, Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, said the report showed there had been a “complete failure of leadership” at the trust.

He added: “I’m proud of the NHS but actually I’m really saddened by this report.”

Patients accepted there were risks involved in treatments and procedures, but they did not accept that those people who should be helping them would let them down and that the system caring for them would be faulty, he said.

Earlier this month the trust’s chief executive, Martin Yeates, and chairman, Toni Brisby, resigned.

The Healthcare Commission’s chairman, Sir Ian Kennedy, said the investigation followed concerns about unusually high death rates at the trust.

Although it is not clear how many deaths could have been avoided, the Healthcare Commission said that patients undoubtedly suffered as a result of lapses in the standard of care.

Those in charge of the trust, which runs Stafford Hospital and Cannock Chase Hospital, failed to give an adequate explanation of these figures, prompting the commission to launch a full investigation.

“The resulting report is a shocking story,” Sir Ian said. “Our report tells a story of appalling standards of care and chaotic systems for looking after patients.

“These are words I have not previously used in any report.

“There were inadequacies in almost every stage of caring for patients. There was no doubt that patients will have suffered and some of them will have died as a result.”

Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, said he had requested a further full independent review of the Stafford Hospital by Sir George Alberti, national clinical director for Emergency Care, to ensure all lessons had been learnt.

“On behalf of the Government and the NHS I would like to apologise to the patients and families of patients who have suffered because of the poor standards of care at Stafford Hospital.

“There was a complete failure of management to address serious problems and monitor performance. This led to a totally unacceptable failure to treat emergency patients safely and with dignity.”

David Kidney, the MP for Stafford, in whose constituency the hospital is based, told The Times that management were likely to have cut services to deal with its budget deficit.

"Clearly, the hospital was too enthusiastic in cutting back," he said. "People have died because they did not get the care that they should have done in their local hospital.

"Now the chief executive has stepped down and the chair of the trust resigned, we have to make sure that we change the culture of the place."

Julie Bailey was so concerned about the care being given to her 86-year-old mother Bella that she and her relatives slept in a chair at her hospital bedside for eight weeks.

“What we saw in those eight weeks will haunt us for the rest of our lives,” she said. “We saw patients drinking out of flower vases, they were so thirsty.

“There were patients wandering around the hospital and patients fighting. It was continuous through the night.

“Patients were screaming out in pain because you just could not get pain relief.

“Patients would fall out of bed and we would have to go hunting for staff. There was such a lack of staff.

“It was like a Third World country hospital. It was an absolute disgrace.”

Ms Bailey, from Stafford, launched a campaign group, called Cure the NHS, following her mother’s death to encourage a full inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

“We had to stand outside the hospital for 14 months to get to this point,” she said.

“The neglect is still happening. We are still taking calls from patients on wards.”

Source: Times Online
'Shocking' treatment at hospital may have killed 400
Prince Charles: Britain faces dementia catastrophe
Staffordshire hospital: What went wrong? Criticisms and recommendations in full

Saturday, 14 March 2009

NHS children's staff lack training

Many health professionals treating children in the NHS do not have the latest training and information on a number of vital issues, a report has warned.

According to the Healthcare Commission, trusts are failing to pass on advances in basic training surrounding paediatric resuscitation, pain management and child protection.

The study found 29% of trusts did not regularly update staff training on child protection.

A staggering 74% of trusts were found to have an insufficient number of staff trained in specialist paediatric life support, while 11% had got worse since the Commission's last report in 2005/06.

And surgeons and anaesthetists were also losing their skills, with 63% of trusts failing to ensure the professionals were doing the recommended number of operations on children to maintain their training.

Only 59% of trusts could boost the basic level of one nurse per shift in emergency and day care wards trained to manage children's pain.

The report's authors wrote: "It is of great concern that the findings from the follow-up review show a consistently low level in the uptake of training in paediatric life support among key staff, while a high proportion of surgeons and anaesthetists carrying out procedures on children still need to have more work experience to properly maintain their specific skills."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Healthcare Commission

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Have your say on NHS services

People are being offered a chance to help shape the way NHS services are delivered. Health Reporter HELEN RAE finds out more.

AN OPPORTUNITY to make a difference to the health of the region is being presented through the role of non-executive director on the board of Newcastle Primary Care Trust.

The role offers the chance for the candidate to put their talents to use by making a positive difference to the lives of people in the community by tackling issues like obesity, smoking, alcohol, cancer and sexual health.

The position is open to people who have gained senior level expertise in the private, public or voluntary sectors with senior management experience including one or more of the following: commercial or business expertise: bringing experience of strategic planning, financial, risk and performance management and legal expertise.

An interest in community health services is also desirable.

Gina Tiller, chairwoman of Newcastle PCT board, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for someone to become involved in making a difference to the health of their local community in Newcastle.

“We believe that the best boards are those that reflect the communities they serve.

“We particularly want to hear from women and people from black and minority ethnic communities who are able to make a real contribution to this organisation.”

Preference will be given to candidates who live in Newcastle, or who have strong connections with the area.

Those applying for the role will need to demonstrate a range of competencies required to contribute effectively at board level including strategic thinking, team working and excellent communication skills.

The time commitment is typically just two and a half days each month and remuneration is £7,765 per annum.

Newcastle PCT values and promotes diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity for all and appointments made on merit.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday, March 5 and interviews will be held on March 30.

For more information log on to the website at www.appointments.org.uk or www.strictlyboardroom.co.uk or call 0870 240 3802, quoting the reference NE9557 for an information pack.
Source: Evening Chronicle
More articles from Helen Rae