Hospital apologises to MRSA widow

By John HowardA WIDOW who claimed her husband was never told he had MRSA while at Ipswich Hospital has received an apology from its acting chief executive.

By John Howard

A WIDOW who claimed her husband was never told he had MRSA while at Ipswich Hospital has received an apology from its acting chief executive.

Brenda Alexander, 57, lodged an official complaint with Ipswich Hospital Trust, raising concerns about MRSA, ward cleanliness, the administration of care and medication, and communication with staff.

Her husband Christopher, who was disabled, had been treated at Ipswich Hospital before he died aged 61 at a hospice towards the end of last year.

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Mr Alexander, who was suffering from cancer and was terminally ill, was admitted to Kirton Ward at Ipswich Hospital and his widow wrote to its acting chief executive, Chris Dooley, with her concerns at the state of the ward, which she felt was unhygienic.

Mrs Alexander, from Leiston, claimed there had been blood on the floor near her husband's bed and staff had not been as attentive to patients as she felt they should have been.

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"My husband was transferred from Ipswich Hospital to St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich. It was clean and the staff more than helpful," she said.

"After a few hours of being in the hospice, having had all the normal checks done, it was discovered that he had been transferred from the hospital to the hospice with MRSA.

"I lost my Christopher a few days later. My only consolation was that he died in a clean and peaceful environment and not on Kirton Ward in Ipswich Hospital."

Mr Dooley has written to Mrs Alexander and apologised that she had felt it necessary to make a complaint.

A report from Robert Power, the trust's service manager for general medicine, also apologised for the distress caused to Mrs Alexander and her family.

The report said Mr Alexander's MRSA had been fully assessed by the hospital's infection control team and he had been deemed to be in a low-risk category.

But the hospital apologised to St Elizabeth Hospice for omitting the details of Mr Alexander's MRSA infection in his transfer details.

The hospital has now put new procedures and systems in place in response to the complaint and staff have been reminded in writing of the importance of communicating patients infection status.

It also told Mrs Alexander and her family that cleaning was taken seriously by the trust and all staff had to achieve set competency levels.

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