Hospital incidents: Student photographed dead patient

Hundreds of serious incidents have been reported in hospitals across the South, including a student who took pictures of a dead patient, the BBC can reveal.

A patient also had a limb amputated without consent and a care assistant complained about a patient on Facebook.

Many of the 823 incidents between January 2009 and October 2010 related to the region's 11 hospitals.

NHS South Central would not comment on individual cases but said patient safety was its highest priority.

The incidents were released to the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act.

The health authority, which covers Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Oxfordshire, refused to reveal where the incidents happened due to patient confidentiality.

Many of the incidents related to patients catching infections.

But there were more unusual cases such as the student who took photographs of a dead patient during a visit to the mortuary, and the healthcare assistant reported for using her mobile phone to put "malicious and inappropriate" comments about a patient on Facebook.

NHS South Central said it encouraged staff to log all incidents and many of the 827 resulted in no action being taken.

Jill Pellett, from the authority, said: "Patient safety in this region is given the highest priority.

"We expect all NHS organisations to report all incidents.

"Two years ago we became the only NHS region to have established a Patient Safety Federation, designed to improve patient safety in all healthcare organisations in the region.

"We have used incident reporting to drive this improvement."

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