A hospital has introduced “major changes” to its nursing care after a coroner said a catalogue of failings had led to the deaths of two patients, its chief nurse said today.
Brian Waller, 72, died after falling out of bed at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, East Sussex, in April last year. A month later Edward Warneford, 66, died in the same ward after choking on his false teeth.
Mr Waller, who was being treated for heart problems, fell out of his hospital bed despite wearing a wrist band with “risk of falls” written on it.
He landed on his head, breaking his neck and suffering a massive bleed on his brain which led to his death six days later.
It was later discovered that one of the guard rails on his bed had been left down.
At inquests into the two men’s deaths, coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley strongly criticised Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust and said changes needed to be made at the hospital.
Sherree Fagge, chief nurse for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, admitted staff could have done better.
She said in a statement: “The circumstances surrounding the deaths of these two patients were very different.
“However, what I see when I am on the wards is that the majority of our nurses are working hard and carrying out their duties with the kindness and compassion we would want for our own families but we are also using this as a way of teaching our less experienced nurses and picking up issues before they become problems.”