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Posted on 4th April 2018

Lack Of Hospital Beds Led To Patient Death

A daughter blames Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust for her mother taking her own life in a locked hospital bathroom. A mother with a history of drug abuse and mental illness became increasingly suicidal. Despite clinicians stating she needed immediate and urgent admission to hospital, there were no beds available.

When the woman was finally admitted to the hospital, eight days later, her condition was much worse. Despite the late and urgent admission, the 32-year-old woman was not assessed by a doctor. If they had conducted an assessment, the staff would have realised she needed a 1:1 watch. Staff found the patient trying to hang herself in a bathroom, while she handed the ligature to staff, she found another one and then ended her life.

The eight-day delay for admission was not the only failing that occurred. There was no appropriate monitoring for the patient; the team was comprised of agency staff who did not know the correct procedures. A nurse called 999 and not the specialist number they are meant to use for emergencies.

Staff who found the patient could not find scissors or appropriate tools to cut the ligature. Furthermore, the team in charge could not find the resuscitation trolley, the batteries inside were not charged, and they could not find a place to plug the trolley in.

A coroner’s report showed failings including;

  • Lack of staff handovers
  • Poor clinical leadership
  • Failure to follow procedures
  • Lack of medication reviews
  • Poor communication and record keeping.

From this, the family were awarded compensation. However, the family are still concerned that the same problems could occur and that the hospital could fail other families.

What Negligence Claimline say

Immediate and very urgent health matters should be treated as such, and sadly the patient mentioned above did not get the correct treatment in the right timeframe. The situation was made worse by the fact that there were more failings when the patient was finally admitted to hospital.

While we hope this situation never happens to you or a loved one, we can be there to help if it does. Our friendly team of expert solicitors are here to support you with the help you need for your potential claim. If you would like to discuss your experience and understand more about the process of claiming compensation, talk to our team by calling 0330 355 9210.