Southend Hospital nearly killed my husband

Echo: Hospital nearly killed my husband Hospital nearly killed my husband

A MAN almost died after being given penicillin at Southend Hospital despite medics being warned he was allergic to the drug.

The 70-year-old from Blenheim Chase, Leigh, suffered an allergic reaction and spent four days in the hospital’s high dependency unit then 17 days on its heart ward after being injected with Co-amoxiclav, which contains penicillin.

The man had been rushed into hospital by ambulance after collapsing at home and was thought to have pneumonia.

The man and his wife, who have asked not to be named, claim a paramedic radioed through and told medics about the allergy.

However, the message was not passed on and neither a nurse nor registrar read medical notes, which would have prevented the incident.

The man’s wife said: “He was lucky he did not die. He was so near to it, but it has been life changing for his memory. He cannot remember things.

“They gave him oxygen and a paramedic radioed through to the hospital to explain he was allergic to penicillin. When we got there he was taken in to resuscitation and I was made to wait.”

She went to see him and said she saw him with a swollen neck and was turning mauve.

She added: “I said this doesn’t look right then I was asked to leave.”

The man was given an antidote before being moved to another ward.

His wife thought her husband had died because a nurse handed her his wedding ring as she waited outside the high dependency unit and “muttered something”

to her.

She added: “I didn’t know what she said and just assumed he must have died. I was in shock.”

Details have emerged in a complaint to the hospital by the couple after the man’s treatment between October 13 and November 1 last year.

According to the hospital, ambulance staff told the A&E nurse of the allergy as soon as the man arrived and she wrote it onto a handover sheet to the rescusitation department, but did not update them verbally. Staff in resuscitation did not read the paperwork before administering penicillin.

Jacqueline Totterdell, hospital chief executive, said: “We are sorry this patient has concern regarding his treatment. We have met with him and his family to enable us to fully investigate what happened.”

The hospital has reported the incident to NHS England and is being investigated.

Comments (16)

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8:18am Mon 12 May 14

QuestionTime says...

The thought of being admitted to Southend Hospital scares me.
With all it's recent poor publicity, the words Incompetence, Uncaring, Unprofessional & Disorganised come to mind, yet nothing seems to be happening by the hospital to make it a place of Quality and Trust!
Bringing in staff that want to be in the profession and get rid of those who have an uncaring attitude might be a start!
The thought of being admitted to Southend Hospital scares me. With all it's recent poor publicity, the words Incompetence, Uncaring, Unprofessional & Disorganised come to mind, yet nothing seems to be happening by the hospital to make it a place of Quality and Trust! Bringing in staff that want to be in the profession and get rid of those who have an uncaring attitude might be a start! QuestionTime
  • Score: 13

9:05am Mon 12 May 14

pembury53 says...

over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....
over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill.... pembury53
  • Score: -11

10:14am Mon 12 May 14

Judge Fish says...

I worked at Southend Hospital for many years.

During that time I lost count of the occasions where low numbers of trained staff grappled with a workload that was immense, but also required them to remain focused and pay attention to fine detail.

One of the problems that arises from nurses and HCAs being placed in a position where they are juggling several different tasks at any one time, is that vital patient-related information is either miscommunicated or not passed on at all, as seems to have been the case here. The patient's allergy was known but I wonder whether it was checked on the system, entered into a nursing admissions booklet, or whether a red wristband was issued, indicating an allergy.

When incidents like this occur it doesn't necessarily follow that staff are incompetent or don't care. They are human beings operating under intense pressure, who are rushed off their feet. You can be the best nurse in the world but you can only do so much.

You can alleviate this state of affairs by making sure that staffing levels are proportionate to a 'normal' workload and also that there is the provision within the system to bring in more staff should that workload increase.

That said, we in a world where the NHS has effectively been privatised and is being starved of funding. In the future, money for additional staff may not always be available.

I once broached the issue of inadequate staffing with a senior member of the nursing staff at Southend Hospital, and then immediately wished that I hadn't, as she shouted at me at great length.

My opinion of the hospital when I left it (and I am stating this as my opinion, not as an objective fact) is that there are middle-tiers of management who are either in denial of the realities at ground level, or who think that these problems can be overcome by brow-beating lower level staff.

They can't.

We all know what happens when you go down that road. We've seen it happen at other hospitals.
I worked at Southend Hospital for many years. During that time I lost count of the occasions where low numbers of trained staff grappled with a workload that was immense, but also required them to remain focused and pay attention to fine detail. One of the problems that arises from nurses and HCAs being placed in a position where they are juggling several different tasks at any one time, is that vital patient-related information is either miscommunicated or not passed on at all, as seems to have been the case here. The patient's allergy was known but I wonder whether it was checked on the system, entered into a nursing admissions booklet, or whether a red wristband was issued, indicating an allergy. When incidents like this occur it doesn't necessarily follow that staff are incompetent or don't care. They are human beings operating under intense pressure, who are rushed off their feet. You can be the best nurse in the world but you can only do so much. You can alleviate this state of affairs by making sure that staffing levels are proportionate to a 'normal' workload and also that there is the provision within the system to bring in more staff should that workload increase. That said, we in a world where the NHS has effectively been privatised and is being starved of funding. In the future, money for additional staff may not always be available. I once broached the issue of inadequate staffing with a senior member of the nursing staff at Southend Hospital, and then immediately wished that I hadn't, as she shouted at me at great length. My opinion of the hospital when I left it (and I am stating this as my opinion, not as an objective fact) is that there are middle-tiers of management who are either in denial of the realities at ground level, or who think that these problems can be overcome by brow-beating lower level staff. They can't. We all know what happens when you go down that road. We've seen it happen at other hospitals. Judge Fish
  • Score: 24

10:27am Mon 12 May 14

SLord90 says...

pembury53 wrote:
over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....
what if this was your family member?
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....[/p][/quote]what if this was your family member? SLord90
  • Score: 14

11:48am Mon 12 May 14

VeteranOfMany says...

But then, the Hospital went on and Saved him, be grateful...
But then, the Hospital went on and Saved him, be grateful... VeteranOfMany
  • Score: 5

12:03pm Mon 12 May 14

pembury53 says...

SLord90 wrote:
pembury53 wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....
what if this was your family member?
read the post above, from someone with experience of working there.... if you want a decent NHS it has to be paid for.... complaints and legal action will result in in even more mistakes and lives put at risk because the pressure on staff will increase even more, as they are the ones scape goated for the root causes of under funding (given the scope of service offered or exploited) and mismanagement, and are made to work in a climate of fear.....
[quote][p][bold]SLord90[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....[/p][/quote]what if this was your family member?[/p][/quote]read the post above, from someone with experience of working there.... if you want a decent NHS it has to be paid for.... complaints and legal action will result in in even more mistakes and lives put at risk because the pressure on staff will increase even more, as they are the ones scape goated for the root causes of under funding (given the scope of service offered or exploited) and mismanagement, and are made to work in a climate of fear..... pembury53
  • Score: 3

2:11pm Mon 12 May 14

_Lotus_ says...

pembury53 wrote:
over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....
He nearly died for crying out loud, what is wrong with you???
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....[/p][/quote]He nearly died for crying out loud, what is wrong with you??? _Lotus_
  • Score: 3

4:28pm Mon 12 May 14

pembury53 says...

_Lotus_ wrote:
pembury53 wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....
He nearly died for crying out loud, what is wrong with you???
you can die from a bee sting, just one of those things, lifes not always a bed of roses.....
[quote][p][bold]_Lotus_[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....[/p][/quote]He nearly died for crying out loud, what is wrong with you???[/p][/quote]you can die from a bee sting, just one of those things, lifes not always a bed of roses..... pembury53
  • Score: -6

4:49pm Mon 12 May 14

My Britain says...

I was in S end Hospital last week, to many agencie workers, but without them, you would have no staff.
I was in S end Hospital last week, to many agencie workers, but without them, you would have no staff. My Britain
  • Score: 7

6:17pm Mon 12 May 14

Idontknowy says...

pembury53 wrote:
SLord90 wrote:
pembury53 wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....
what if this was your family member?
read the post above, from someone with experience of working there.... if you want a decent NHS it has to be paid for.... complaints and legal action will result in in even more mistakes and lives put at risk because the pressure on staff will increase even more, as they are the ones scape goated for the root causes of under funding (given the scope of service offered or exploited) and mismanagement, and are made to work in a climate of fear.....
Which is totally wrong and needs to be brought to the public's attention.

The NHS is paid for by our taxes and national insurance - what is killing it is 1. privatisation by the back door e.g. cleaning and catering services farmed out to contract holders instead of using their own staff who they would have control over,2. people from all over the world coming and using it for nothing (even when NHS does bill foreign countries they don't necessarily get paid. and 3 too many managers and not enough front line workers which in turn results in litigation due to poor treatment through lack of suitable staff
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SLord90[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....[/p][/quote]what if this was your family member?[/p][/quote]read the post above, from someone with experience of working there.... if you want a decent NHS it has to be paid for.... complaints and legal action will result in in even more mistakes and lives put at risk because the pressure on staff will increase even more, as they are the ones scape goated for the root causes of under funding (given the scope of service offered or exploited) and mismanagement, and are made to work in a climate of fear.....[/p][/quote]Which is totally wrong and needs to be brought to the public's attention. The NHS is paid for by our taxes and national insurance - what is killing it is 1. privatisation by the back door e.g. cleaning and catering services farmed out to contract holders [businesses who need to make a profit] instead of using their own staff who they would have control over,2. people from all over the world coming and using it for nothing (even when NHS does bill foreign countries they don't necessarily get paid. and 3 too many managers and not enough front line workers which in turn results in litigation due to poor treatment through lack of suitable staff Idontknowy
  • Score: 5

6:17pm Mon 12 May 14

Idontknowy says...

pembury53 wrote:
SLord90 wrote:
pembury53 wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....
what if this was your family member?
read the post above, from someone with experience of working there.... if you want a decent NHS it has to be paid for.... complaints and legal action will result in in even more mistakes and lives put at risk because the pressure on staff will increase even more, as they are the ones scape goated for the root causes of under funding (given the scope of service offered or exploited) and mismanagement, and are made to work in a climate of fear.....
Which is totally wrong and needs to be brought to the public's attention.

The NHS is paid for by our taxes and national insurance - what is killing it is 1. privatisation by the back door e.g. cleaning and catering services farmed out to contract holders instead of using their own staff who they would have control over,2. people from all over the world coming and using it for nothing (even when NHS does bill foreign countries they don't necessarily get paid. and 3 too many managers and not enough front line workers which in turn results in litigation due to poor treatment through lack of suitable staff
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SLord90[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....[/p][/quote]what if this was your family member?[/p][/quote]read the post above, from someone with experience of working there.... if you want a decent NHS it has to be paid for.... complaints and legal action will result in in even more mistakes and lives put at risk because the pressure on staff will increase even more, as they are the ones scape goated for the root causes of under funding (given the scope of service offered or exploited) and mismanagement, and are made to work in a climate of fear.....[/p][/quote]Which is totally wrong and needs to be brought to the public's attention. The NHS is paid for by our taxes and national insurance - what is killing it is 1. privatisation by the back door e.g. cleaning and catering services farmed out to contract holders [businesses who need to make a profit] instead of using their own staff who they would have control over,2. people from all over the world coming and using it for nothing (even when NHS does bill foreign countries they don't necessarily get paid. and 3 too many managers and not enough front line workers which in turn results in litigation due to poor treatment through lack of suitable staff Idontknowy
  • Score: 2

6:23pm Mon 12 May 14

Idontknowy says...

pembury53 wrote:
_Lotus_ wrote:
pembury53 wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....
He nearly died for crying out loud, what is wrong with you???
you can die from a bee sting, just one of those things, lifes not always a bed of roses.....
A bee sting is unlucky but misadministation of medication is not just "one of thos things" it is negligence
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]_Lotus_[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....[/p][/quote]He nearly died for crying out loud, what is wrong with you???[/p][/quote]you can die from a bee sting, just one of those things, lifes not always a bed of roses.....[/p][/quote]A bee sting is unlucky but misadministation of medication is not just "one of thos things" it is negligence Idontknowy
  • Score: 5

7:16pm Mon 12 May 14

runwellian says...

If anyone has an allergy that could be life threatening, they can help themselves by wearing an SOS band that alerts anyone that may need to help the person, in hospital, at home, in the street, a couple of quid well spent and no excuse for not knowing!

We expect everyone else to help us but do so little to help ourselves.

With a number of health problems, I wear a locket type necklace, the size of a 2p coin that that contains a strip holding all the information anyone would need to know about me in an emergency ... it has indeed been used many times when I have been to unwell to give details myself.
If anyone has an allergy that could be life threatening, they can help themselves by wearing an SOS band that alerts anyone that may need to help the person, in hospital, at home, in the street, a couple of quid well spent and no excuse for not knowing! We expect everyone else to help us but do so little to help ourselves. With a number of health problems, I wear a locket type necklace, the size of a 2p coin that that contains a strip holding all the information anyone would need to know about me in an emergency ... it has indeed been used many times when I have been to unwell to give details myself. runwellian
  • Score: 6

9:31pm Mon 12 May 14

pembury53 says...

Idontknowy wrote:
pembury53 wrote:
SLord90 wrote:
pembury53 wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....
what if this was your family member?
read the post above, from someone with experience of working there.... if you want a decent NHS it has to be paid for.... complaints and legal action will result in in even more mistakes and lives put at risk because the pressure on staff will increase even more, as they are the ones scape goated for the root causes of under funding (given the scope of service offered or exploited) and mismanagement, and are made to work in a climate of fear.....
Which is totally wrong and needs to be brought to the public's attention.

The NHS is paid for by our taxes and national insurance - what is killing it is 1. privatisation by the back door e.g. cleaning and catering services farmed out to contract holders instead of using their own staff who they would have control over,2. people from all over the world coming and using it for nothing (even when NHS does bill foreign countries they don't necessarily get paid. and 3 too many managers and not enough front line workers which in turn results in litigation due to poor treatment through lack of suitable staff
yep, i wouldn't argue with any of that.....
[quote][p][bold]Idontknowy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SLord90[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....[/p][/quote]what if this was your family member?[/p][/quote]read the post above, from someone with experience of working there.... if you want a decent NHS it has to be paid for.... complaints and legal action will result in in even more mistakes and lives put at risk because the pressure on staff will increase even more, as they are the ones scape goated for the root causes of under funding (given the scope of service offered or exploited) and mismanagement, and are made to work in a climate of fear.....[/p][/quote]Which is totally wrong and needs to be brought to the public's attention. The NHS is paid for by our taxes and national insurance - what is killing it is 1. privatisation by the back door e.g. cleaning and catering services farmed out to contract holders [businesses who need to make a profit] instead of using their own staff who they would have control over,2. people from all over the world coming and using it for nothing (even when NHS does bill foreign countries they don't necessarily get paid. and 3 too many managers and not enough front line workers which in turn results in litigation due to poor treatment through lack of suitable staff[/p][/quote]yep, i wouldn't argue with any of that..... pembury53
  • Score: 1

10:32pm Mon 12 May 14

pembury53 says...

VeteranOfMany wrote:
But then, the Hospital went on and Saved him, be grateful...
grateful indeed, people are too quick to judge..... nurses, like rolf harris, are a national treasure, what happened to 'benefit of the doubt', before condemnation.....
[quote][p][bold]VeteranOfMany[/bold] wrote: But then, the Hospital went on and Saved him, be grateful...[/p][/quote]grateful indeed, people are too quick to judge..... nurses, like rolf harris, are a national treasure, what happened to 'benefit of the doubt', before condemnation..... pembury53
  • Score: 1

8:31pm Tue 13 May 14

I Love Making Money Illegally says...

_Lotus_ wrote:
pembury53 wrote:
over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....
He nearly died for crying out loud, what is wrong with you???
He didn't nearly die. The Echo just love exaggerating on things.
[quote][p][bold]_Lotus_[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: over worked and under paid.... some mistakes will happen, no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill....[/p][/quote]He nearly died for crying out loud, what is wrong with you???[/p][/quote]He didn't nearly die. The Echo just love exaggerating on things. I Love Making Money Illegally
  • Score: 4

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