SEVERAL patients have been seriously injured - one severely - following a spate of falls at Southend Hospital.

Eleven patients fell and injured themselves at Southend Hospital over four months a report has revealed.

Patients were left with a range of injuries, including broken bones and head injuries during falls at the Prittlewell Chase hospital from April to July.

In a report to Southend Hospital’s board of directors, Kathy Maloney, safe staffing facilitator and Diane Sarkar , chief nursing officer, reported three “high severity” falls, seven “moderate falls” and one “high extreme fall”, where the patient’s injuries were not revealed.

In April, the hospital recorded a high severity fall on Castlepoint ward where the patient sustained fracture neck of femur and a moderate fall where a patient sustained a dislocated hip following surgery.

In the same month on Rochford ward, there was a moderate severity fall where a patient sustained a head wound.

Other wards involved in falls include Rochford, Balmoral and Windsor wards. In addition to the falls, eight patients developed “hospital acquired” pressure sores, where a patient is left in one position for too long.

The hospital has struggled with staff recruitment in recent years. The report says there are an increased number of vacancies at the hospital and it continues “to monitor recruitment and retention”, particularly on Eleanor Hobbs ward where the “high extreme fall” occurred.

The hospital says it sent a team to Finland with a recruitment agency in July.

The first candidates from this campaign are expected to start in November.

Registered nurse vacancy rates at the hospital was 15.79 per cent in July, an increase of 0.83 per cent. The report said: “All incidences of pressure ulcers and falls are investigated, however staffing was not thought to be a contributory factor.

“Staffing ratios continue to be monitored daily by senior nurses within the trust. Bank and agency staff have been utilised to maintain patient safety where vacancy rates remain high.”

The hospital was unable to provide a comment before the Echo went to press.