Essex

Colchester Hospital 'has not learned lessons' over death

Colchester General Hospital
Image caption The trust's chief executive said he is aiming to make sure the hospital is out of special measures by the end of the year

The daughter of a man who died after a hospital failed it its "duty of care" said lessons have not been learned.

Colchester Hospital was rated as inadequate after a recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection found it was relying on "unsuitable" agency staff.

Norman Betchley died in 2009 after he was mistakenly fed a pill by an agency nurse.

The hospital said the CQC report did not reflect improvements it has made.

Inspectors said the hospital demonstrated "poor leadership" and "only a limited capacity to improve".

Staff were let down by agency workers, who were not as committed and were "unsuitable in terms of their skills and knowledge".

Mr Betchley's daughter Linda said she feels angry that "nothing has changed" since he died.

Image copyright Betchley family
Image caption Norman Betchley, a retired printer, was admitted to hospital with breathing problems

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She added: "At the time they said there was a deficit in trained staff and there was a breakdown in management and the girl was thrown in at the deep end.

"Many of the items raised in this most recent report were raised back then. I don't see them being addressed soon.

"There is no leadership, there is no support for the actual nurses on the wards."

Chief executive Frank Sims, who started in the role last month, admitted its biggest challenge is "reducing our dependency on agency staff."

"We have got more staff employed now than we have ever had, and since September we have recruited 75 more qualified nurses but we have still got a long way to go."

The trust which runs the hospital has been in special measures since 2013.

The CQC has recommended it remains in special measures for the next three months, during which time it must submit a weekly improvement plan.

Mr Sims said his intention is to "focus entirely on getting out of special measures this year".

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