Man who tested positive for coronavirus was on a public ward at Milton Keynes Hospital for six hours

Family members of the man who died at MK Hospital were informed yesterday that he had tested positive for coronavirus, the MK Citizen can reveal.

Friday, 6th March 2020, 3:26 pm
Updated Friday, 6th March 2020, 3:52 pm

Sources say the man, who was 88, had recently returned from a cruise and had visited several countries.

He was admitted to MK Hospital with suspected pneumonia on Tuesday and was put on a public ward. He was noted to have "numerous" visitors, it has been claimed.

"He was coughing excessively and another patient in the ward had complained to a nurse that should be checking him for coronavirus... The nurse told him not to worry about it and that he is being dealt with," said one source.

Milton Keynes University Hospital

"Within six hours of him being on the ward, he was removed from the ward and we assume he was put into isolation," he said.

The source added: "When family turned up on Wednesday to visit him, they were informed that he had been put into isolation and was being tested for the coronavirus. They were made to wear suits in order to visit him and were only allowed in two at a time."

Last night (Thursday) at approximately 7pm, family members received a telephone call from the hospital saying that he had tested positive for the virus.

"They were advised to self isolate" said the source.

An hour later the family received another call to say the man had sadly passed away.

Another patient from the original ward has since been discharged but has now asked to be tested for the virus.

"He tried to contact both the hospital and 111 to ask to be tested..But 111 told him and his wife that they will not be tested because they were not in direct contact with 'the infected patient,' and MK Hospital told them that they are unable to talk to them about this incident or advise on the coronavirus and hung up on them," a family member told the Citizen.

He has accused the NHS of being "blasé" for putting the patient on a public ward and not immediately isolating him.

"The hospital know that they have had a confirmed patient carrying coronavirus in their hospital and the public haven't been notified of this. Surely this should be made public so people can start taking the correct precautions to protect themselves from this virus?"

"This is by no means preventative action being taken to prevent the spread of this virus and my family and I are scared and shocked by this.

"I have written this to yourselves in an attempt to make this public and for the hospital to take some action and / or answer some of the questions we have as to why this is being kept a secret."

The hospital has since performed a deep clean of the ward and patients remaining there have been isolated. Staff who dealt with the patient are also in isolation.

It is understood a list of "important" people in Milton Keynes, including health professionals and councillors, were sent briefing details by early this morning. The note asks them to treat the information as "confidential" until official processes are followed.

"I am not happy. While I think scaremongering is bad, I think the public have a right to know," said one professional.

The MK Citizen is still awaiting comment from the hospital.

Pete Marland, leader of MK Council, said: “If the reports are confirmed obviously my first thoughts are with the family. We have prepared for this situation, and as a council, we are working with partners on the proper arrangements to protect the delivery of essential services.”