Somerset

Bath RUH says 'sorry' for its part in woman's death

Bath RUH
Image caption The woman, known as Patient E was said to have gone from a jovial and determined person to being bed-bound

A hospital has apologised for its part in the death of a woman with learning disabilities after she was moved between two different hospitals.

The 67-year-old woman, known as patient E, died at Bath Royal United Hospital (RUH) after being moved from Savernake Hospital in Marlborough.

A report found symptoms of her illness were mistaken for characteristics of her learning disability.

Bath RUH said it was "sorry" and it took what happened "very seriously".

Dr Bernie Marden, RUH trust medical director, added: "We welcome this thorough investigation and its findings. It will assist the trust and our health partners to learn from this case and take actions to improve the way we work together.

"Patient care and safety is always our priority and we offer our sympathy and condolences to Patient E's family."

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) reported the Wiltshire Council Health and Wellbeing review found the woman went into hospital four times after fracturing her ankle.

'Deteriorating health'

She spent a week in the RUH before being moved to a ward at Savernake Hospital. One day later she was returned to the RUH and the following day she died of hospital-acquired pneumonia.

The review found her "deteriorating health" was not picked up quickly enough because the symptoms of her illness were confused with her learning disability.

The Bath RUH spokesman said: "We have made learning disabilities a key theme for the last two years work at the hospital and we are doing very dynamic work.

"My concern, is that sometimes means we have a lot of specialist resource like disability nurses which mean people in the mainstream don't have to know about it.

"We need to make sure all professional are aware and not just leave it to specialists."

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