Milton Keynes Hospital A&E blasted for putting patients lives at risk after pensioner's death
Patients' lives are being put at risk in MK Hospital's A&E department due to staff shortages.
That's the view of the city coroner Tom Osborne, who has this week blasted the hospital following the death of a 72-year-old man who was not given treatment quickly enough.
Tom Osborne has used his powers as coroner to serve hospital boss Joe Harrison with an official Regulation 28 Report to Prevent Future Deaths.
He is urging the Trust to take urgent action before any more lives are lost.
The move comes after Mr Osborne conducted an inquest into the death of pensioner John Shrosbee, who was admitted to the hospital on June 4 when he was “clearly unwell.”
Mr Osborne said: “There was a failure to recognise the serious nature of his condition and a failure to take the necessary steps to treat it."
Tests and observations confirmed Mr Shrosbee had a high potassium level, but this observation was not review and his care was not escalated to a higher level.
Instead he was left in an unmonitored bay in the A&E department and there was a delay in starting the treatment he urgently needed to recover.
By the time Mr Shrosbee was transferred for a CT scan he was already unstable. He suffered a cardiac arrest, which caused hypoxic brain damage, and he died a week later.
Mr Osborne said: “My concern is that during the evidence it became clear that that the problems encountered in the Emergency Department on 4th June 2019 were mainly brought about by staff shortages.
"I was told that staff shortages occur on a daily basis and I believe that as a result lives of this citizens of Milton Keynes are being put at risk and the problem should be addressed as a matter of urgency.”
Hospital bosses told the inquest they had since made changes to increase staffing levels.
A spokesman for Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: "We would like to express our sincere condolences to the family following the death of Mr Shrosbree. The Trust accepts the coroner’s findings and we have made changes to increase staffing levels of nursing leadership in our Emergency Department.
"We report staffing ratios in our Public Board meetings and review ED staffing levels at our daily safety huddle according to the acuity and number of patients in the Department at any one time. We are making a thorough assessment of the Coroner’s recommendations and will be reporting our actions to him in due course."