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MP demands openness from Southampton hospital bosses after three inquests raise concerns over patient care
A SOUTHAMPTON MP is urging hospital bosses to take action after inquests into the deaths of three patients raised concerns about the care they received.
John Denham, MP for Southampton Itchen, will be writing to those in charge of Southampton General Hospital, demanding complete openness and transparency in the light of recent criticisms which he says cannot be ignored.
The former health minister fears that the tragic case of David Adams and others may be a warning of “serious problems” in the way the hospital is being run and insists city residents deserve reassurances.
Hospital bosses have said that improvements have been made in relation to the issues raised from all three inquests.
As reported in yesterday’s Daily Echo, Southampton coroner Keith Wiseman ruled that father-of-three Mr Adams should not have died from the injuries received after falling at home. The inquest into the 53-year-old’s death heard how there were “significant delays” in getting blood test results, “shambolic” notes and how staff underestimated just how ill Mr Adams was in the hours leading up to his fatal cardiac arrest.
Mr Wiseman’s comments followed two other inquests within the last three weeks in which he criticised standards and equipment at the hospital.
Mr Denham said that he will be writing to University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust, which runs Southampton General, in a bid to ensure lessons are learned.
In his letter, he will say: “I understand that there is often a temptation to look at each incident as separate and unrelated, but I am aware that individual problems can often be warning signs of more serious problems of clinical governance in a hospital.
“I certainly do not want to jump too early on unfounded conclusions, but this is why I think it is necessary that the hospital looks at its systems of clinical governance as well as the tragic deaths highlighted by the coroner.
“I think it’s very important the hospital listens to the coroner’s comments, which is why I am writing to them today.”
Mr Denham added: “The remarks cannot be ignored and clearly families in Southampton deserve reassurance that levels of care to patients in Southampton are exemplary.”
Dr Michael Marsh, medical director at the trust admitted that the treatment Mr Adams received in the hours before his death “fell well below the high standards” the hospital strives for.
He added: “Following this case, the trust launched an immediate investigation and introduced a number of significant changes to practices around the management of patients with chest injuries on anticoagulants and the process for accurately identifying blood gas samples, while we are also looking into systems that ensure very urgent blood test samples are clearly identified and the results provided in a clinicallyappropriate time frame.”