Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Southend Hospital death prompts coroner's call for review of safety
A CORONER has called on the Government to strengthen safety guidelines on hospital windows following the death of a pensioner.
Dr Peter Dean said he did not blame Southend Hospital after a jury at an inquest concluded Robin Blowes, 69, died of multiple injuries after accidentally falling from a second-floor window there on July 4, 2010.
However, he promised to write to the Government’s Chief Medical Officer Prof Dame Sally Davies to highlight the case.
Mr Blowes, of Blackmore Road, Blackmore, had been treated at the hospital for a cystectomy operation to remove his bladder.
He fell out of the window in the Edmund Stone Ward after a restrictor, which limits the amount the frame can be opened, was broken.
During the ten-day inquest the jury heard a recommendation had been made for secondary restrictors to be installed in all window frames at the hospital.
This came after another patient had jumped out of a window.
After hearing the narrative verdict returned by the jury, Mr Dean said: “The purpose of this inquest is not attribute blame, so I am not going to blame Southend Hospital for what happened.”
He added: “I have seen first hand the steps the hospital trust has taken around the issue and they have tried their best to resolve the issue.
“However, I have decided to write to the Chief Medical Officer informing her of this inquest.
“I have decided this because if other hospitals have similar window restrictors like the one which was forced through, then they can be made aware of what happened.
“If another set of circumstances like this tragic case can be avoided, then it will be good.”
As the Government’s principal medical advisor, Prof Davies can make suggestions for changes to policy or regulations within the Department of Health.
Mr Blowes, a retired milkman, had become delusional after being operated and a security guard was placed outside his hospital room door. The inquest heard there was no known explanation as to why he started having hallucinations.
Following the verdict, Bernard Thorogood, the barrister representing Southend Hospital, said: “I would like to express great sympathy to Mr Blowes family from the trust.”
Comments are closed on this article.