Hospital responds to death

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HOSPITAL bosses in Rotherham are investigating concerns raised by the town coroner over the death of an elderly patient whose oxygen supply was accidentally disconnected.

Rotherham Coroner Nicola Mundy wrote to the chief executive of Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust about communication problems between hospital staff after an inquest into the death of retired miner Dennis Payling.

She said nursing staff were guilty of a “clear failure to take the necessary steps” after they knocked out a ventilation pipe while bathing the 79-year-old of Cromer Close, Rawmarsh.

The coroner ruled the interrupted oxygen supply - which was not properly reconnected for up to 20 minutes - had “contributed to Mr Payling’s death”.

A spokeswoman for the NHS Trust said: “It is always very sad when a patient dies and we continue to offer our condolences and support to Mr Payling’s family.

“Following further comments from the coroner, we will continue to investigate any of the additional concerns raised, particularly with regard to communication issues, to make sure all relevant systems and processes are being fully implemented in a robust manner.”

Jackie Bird, chief of quality and standards, added: “We work hard at Rotherham Hospital to deliver the very best standards of patient care and our team are committed to learning from any situation where changes can be made to improve what we do.

“Since this incident took place over a year ago, processes have been updated, training has taken place and we have done everything we can to make sure such an incident does not re-occur. We continue to strive to provide the best quality of care and experience to all our patients at all times.”