Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hospital Told to Take Action as Bug Kills Patient

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hospital Told to Take Action as Bug Kills Patient

Article excerpt

Byline: By Vince Gledhill

Health chiefs have been ordered to clean up their act after an 83-year-old war veteran died from the superbug MRSA.

John Wardle died in Wansbeck General Hospital at Ashington after an operation wound became infected.

At a Morpeth inquest his son, also called John, told North Northumberland coroner Ian McCreath that his father had been let down by the hospital and Northumbria Healthcare Trust.

Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, Mr McCreath told the hospital it must improve its cleanliness.

Hospital management today defended the hospital, insisting wards are kept to a high standard of cleanliness with a thorough scrubbing regime every week. But Mr Wardle, a 55-year-old driver, said the standards of hygiene, cleanliness and care he witnessed in Ward 17 were terrible.

He said that he found his father's soiled clothing pushed into a locker along with clean clothes; he saw capsules lying on the floor where there was also blood and urine and a full bottle of urine left beside a tray of food.

In the final stages of his father's illness, he was put into isolation to prevent the infection spreading. But that didn't stop an electrician wandering into the unit, putting his toolbox on to Mr Wardle's bed while he fixed a buzzer, the coroner was told.

After hearing that Mr Wardle, of Greenlee, Ashington, died from MRSA blood poisoning on August 27, Mr McCreath decided to serve an Article 43 notice on the healthcare trust urging its directors to reassess the hygiene policy and make the necessary improvements.

"In cases like this it is important that we do everything we can to make sure it does not happen again," he said.

At home in Fallowfield Way, Ashington, Mr Wardle said he felt that his father had been forgotten as he lay in hospital and in the end he gave up the fight to live. …

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