An outbreak of scabies among eight serious health scares

AN outbreak of scabies was among the eight serious hospital incidents reported in East Sussex in November.

The incident affecting Baird, Egerton, and Irvine wards at the Conquest Hospital, was reported on November 18.

The report detailing these incidents was presented at the latest board meeting of the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne DGH..

The other reported serious incidents included two cases of pressure ulcers, or bed sores, a case of intestinal bleeding following an operation, and a delay in doctor review following a lower leg amputation.

There was also a case of confidential patient information being faxed via an insecure route, and a failure to respond to Freedom of Information requests.

In the last year there have been seven serious incidents reported, which are categorised as ‘Never Events’, serious patient safety incidents, which should not occur if available preventative measures are put in place.

One such incident, reported in November, was a throat pack not being removed from a patient following dental surgery under general anaesthetic, an error which carries the risk of obstruction of the patient’s airway.

The total number of serious incidents reported up to the end of November this year is 64, considerably higher than last year’s total of 47.

According to the trust’s director of nursing Jane Hentley, this increase is explained by the inclusion of data from community services as of April 2011, and the requirement to report severe pressure ulcers as serious incidents.

When a serious incident is reported, a 45- or 60-day deadline is given for a full investigation to be completed.