Exclusive: Patient ‘left unfed on ward for two days’

Scunthorpe General Hospital.Scunthorpe General Hospital.
Scunthorpe General Hospital.
BOSSES at an under-fire NHS trust have launched an investigation into claims a vulnerable patient was left on a ward without food and drink for two days.

The incident came the week before a team of inspectors from the Care Quality Commission carried out new checks at Scunthorpe General Hospital, part of the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, which was plunged into special measures last year amid heavy criticism of its standards.

Investigations are likely to centre on staffing levels on the ward where the unnamed patient with learning disabilities was treated and on handovers at staff shift changes.

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One source told The Yorkshire Post the incident the week before Easter had left staff “appalled”.

The trust said the episode had been escalated to its board. The CQC had been informed prior to its visit, as had the regulator Monitor. Both would receive details of the investigation.

Wendy Booth, the trust’s director of clinical and quality assurance, said: “We are sorry for any distress caused to the patient and their family. The trust takes incidents such as this very seriously and a full investigation is underway to clarify what happened and why and to ensure we learn any lessons.”

A report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman yesterday raised concerns about the treatment of people with learning disabilities, warning “too many” were not getting access “to the right care and treatment at the right time”. It had found “alarming” gaps in care including late diagnoses and a lack of checks at initial assessment.