Basildon Hospital bosses were told to recruit more A&E staff weeks before baby death tragedy (From Echo)
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Basildon Hospital bosses were told to recruit more A&E staff weeks before baby death tragedy
12:10pm Monday 9th July 2012 in Basildon
HOSPITAL bosses were told to recruit more A&E staff just weeks before a baby died after waiting 55 minutes to be seen.
The Echo revealed yesterday how the child had not been assessed despite Basildon Hospital setting a policy to see all youngsters at its new children’s A&E unit within 15 minutes.
We can now reveal that the baby boy who died was just 30 days old and was a twin.
Its also emerged that health watchdog the Care Quality Commission ordered the trust to recruit more staff across the whole of A&E in February.
However, no new nurses were recruited by the time of the tragedy on April 29 and £750,000 allocated to increase staff has still not been fully spent.
A Basildon Hospital spokeswoman said: “The CQC highlighted a need for improvement in A&E staffing levels.
“In a statement issued at the time, we outlined board approval of £750,000 investment in additional medical and nursing staff for the A&E service, to coincide with streamlined treatment pathways in the new £17million department, and the growing number of children attending.”
She added: “We are recruiting additional paediatric nurses and will be conducting interviews next week.”
The spokeswoman insisted all shifts had been fully staffed based on current staffing levels at the time of the death.
A hospital source claimed concerns about shortages were also raised by nurses with managers just days before the baby died.
The source said: “This was a baby boy of just 30 days old who was a twin. Managers were made aware by staff that there were not enough nurses in the paediatric A&E.
“All sorts of stuff was promised, but they never put up the numbers.”
The source said the mother was suffering streptococcal B, the same bacteria which led to blood poisoning in the baby.
She added: “When they started assessing the baby, a nurse tried to attach a probe to check oxygen saturation, but another nurse came off an official break and saw how ill the baby was.”
Despite attempts to save the boy, he died at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The source claimed a nurse had been suspended and the Care Quality Commission had been back a number of times since the death.
A hospital spokeswoman added: “The purpose is to establish the facts and until that is complete we are not in a position to comment.”
A commission spokeswoman added: “The CQC is aware of the death that occurred and the trust is undertaking an investigation.
“Our last review of compliance at the trust was in January when we focused on staffing levels.
“This resulted in a compliance action which will be followed up at our next inspection.”