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NDDH: condition critical?

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: November 01, 2012

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North Devon District Hospital has been the subject of more damning criticism this week after a coroner said gross neglect contributed to the death of a patient.

The man, who went in for a routine hip operation, ended up having both his legs amputated and died after the opportunity for treat him was missed. The hospital has apologised to the man's family and claims the trust had learnt from the mistake.

Meanwhile, the parents of a five-year-old girl with a rare brain disorder have contacted the Journal to say they are angry and distressed with the hospital's treatment of their daughter. Despite suffering repeated fits, the girl was sent away from the hospital three times and told that nothing was wrong. Her parents believe she could have died. However, the hospital refutes the parent's claim and say the girl was offered the best treatment available.

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  • Allenka  |  November 13 2012, 12:51PM

    Letters don't appear on the news items so we thought readers may be interested in the response to this article from Dr Alison Diamond, medical director at the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust. Dear Editor We were very saddened by the front page headline in last week's Journal, 'NDDH; condition critical?' We are always ready to listen to patients, and to apologise and learn when things go wrong. We cultivate an open culture and are recognised nationally for the diligence with which we report incidents, so we can improve care for the future. But as the Trust's senior doctors, we would like to reassure patients and the wider public that it is wrong to draw such a generalisation from two isolated cases. We have seen at first hand over recent days the impact this has had on our colleagues, who work hard to provide the best treatment, earn daily gratitude from patients and families, and are at a loss to explain how this could be described as 'condition critical'. The two episodes referred to on the front page span two years – one dating back to 2010 - and should absolutely not be used to draw wider conclusions. Readers would have perhaps seen the contradiction themselves when turning to page 30, where there was also a small article on the nationally-recognised service provided by our surgeons for gall bladder patients. We would also like to offer the following facts by way of reassurance that your local hospital is not failing: • Our waiting times for operations are some of the best in the South West • Our outcomes including standardised mortality rate and national standards following joint replacements are within nationally set levels • Our own patients tell us standards are high, with national surveys of both in-patients and out-patients putting North Devon District Hospital in the top 20% across the NHS • We had only three reported cases of hospital-acquired C. difficile infection between April and September 2012 - well below the national standard of eight • We have had no hospital-acquired MRSA bloodstream infections since February 2011 • The annual inspection for food, privacy and dignity rated the Trust as 'excellent', with the overall environment, including cleanliness, rated as 'good' • The new children's ward opened this year in the women's and children's centre receives swathes of 'thank you' letter from grateful parents and children for treatment received Please do not think that these two cases suggest something wider is wrong; we can assure readers that is simply untrue. It's your – and our - local hospital, and misrepresentation of what happens there does nobody any favours. Yours sincerely Dr Alison Diamond Medical Director Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust Dr John Coop Mrs Katie Cross Mr John Taylor Dr Andrew Davis Clinical directors Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

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  • dalestuckley  |  November 02 2012, 11:34PM

    ND Journal is wrong and unprofessional I think surely thing have gone on for to long now. The way the North Devon Journal constantly reports negativley on the Barnstaple hospital has become more than just a news paper reporting. I think the word for it is witch hunt. I feel the Journal is acting negativley and extremely unprofessionaly. The comments in the centre pages of the Journal this week show the paper is out to get the hospital and the words used are short of being classed as threatening. The hospital does its best to support the people of North Devon and also the thousands of tourists who come here each year. The Journal is wrong for attacking the hospital constantly and gives the impression the Journal is run by teenagers who can see only negativity. The Journal team are damaging the paper and the owner of the threatening coments on the center pages should be sacked. In my view the article on the front page of the Journal scores you -1 out of 10.

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