Two nurses, a receptionist and a hospital porter have been sacked by Walsall Healthcare Trust for failing to respond to a man who collapsed and died outside its accident and emergency department.
Two other staff have received written warnings, the trust announced today.
The action follows an investigation into the death of 47-year-old Carl Cope who suffered a fatal heart attack near the entrance to the hospital’s A&E on 23 June this year.
Mr Cope was taken to the hospital by paramedics after dialling 999 complaining of chest pains. He had not been discharged when he went outside the hospital where he collapsed.
The trust said it was considering referring the two nurses involved to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
In total 11 NHS staff were suspended over the incident, four from West Midlands Ambulance Service and seven from the acute trust.
One paramedic was sacked in August following an investigation. Another resigned while two other ambulance staff received written warnings. They have all been referred to the Health Professions Council.
Richard Kirby, chief executive at Walsall Healthcare Trust, told Nursing Times: “The staff saw what was going and did not respond in the way they should have done.”
He added: “I sincerely hope this is one of those incredibly upsetting but rare incidents that happen rather than a sign of a broader cultural problem at the trust.
“The level of care provided to this patient was unacceptable and fell well below our aim to provide a consistently first class experience to all those that use our services,” he said.
A formal joint review by the trust and the ambulance service will now be carried out and action will also be taken to improve the way patients are tracked within the A&E department.
In addition, the trust has invested £100,000 in employing more nurses in its A&E department and has appointed three new A&E consultants.
Information supplied to HSJ