On 6 September 2018 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued a report saying the urgent and emergency services at Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, West Midlands, were inadequate.
The CQC assessment was based on an unannounced inspection on 28 June 2018 following enforcement action being taken in January and February 2018. The key findings related to failings in the care of patients with sepsis but also included delay and inappropriate responses to patients with serious and deteriorating conditions.
The findings of the CQC have led to an independent inquiry being undertaken. 54 deaths in the last six months will be considered as part of this inquiry, which is expected to report later this month.
Shoosmiths acts for one-year-old James Cadman, who developed sepsis shortly after birth. Whilst James’ sepsis was accurately diagnosed in the neonatal unit and resolved, he continued to be unwell and attended Russells Hall Accident and Emergency department on two occasions before a blocked bowel was identified.
Even once that diagnosis was made, there was a delay in recognising the seriousness of his condition, resulting in James having to be transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for emergency life-saving treatment. Thankfully James survived, but quicker diagnosis and treatment of the blocked bowel would have improved his overall outcome and spared the family a great deal of anguish.
Amy Greaves, associate solicitor acting for the family said:
‘Whilst James’ sepsis was accurately diagnosed in the neonatal unit, it is very disturbing that the A&E team failed to identify his serious condition on no less than two occasions. It is clearly a matter of great concern that so many deaths at the same local hospital are now the subject of an investigation. We await the findings of the Inquiry and implore the Trust to fully implement any and all recommendations to improve patient care.’