Violent attacks by a young patient’s dad, staff hit by cars, a dirty needle in an operating theatre and a sharp blade hidden in furniture were among more than 1,400 safety risks and accidents reported at Sheffield Children’s Hospital in just four months this year.
A total of 1,402 incidents gave cause for concern between April and July - an increase of more than 200 on the same period last year.
Most of the severe incidents related to one particular patient’s father - now banned from the hospital for a decade for behaving violently and attacking a police officer on site.
The dad was not named by the hospital, but The Star knows him to be Philip Morrison, whose daughter Sarah, six, has brittle bone disease.
He was furious when she went into hospital for an operation on her legs, and came out with five teeth removed - the hospital said because loose milkteeth posed a risk to her airway during surgery.
Today Philip, aged 37, formerly of Raisen Hall Road, Southey Green, said: “It’s a 10-year injunction that means I cannot go near the hospital. I also can’t name the doctors on Facebook. It’s an insult, the way they have demonised me.”
A report to Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust’s board of directors revealed 19 security incidents had been received relating to ‘the escalating behaviour of an abusive father’.
“Over a week he displayed increasing escalation, resulting in arrest and conviction at magistrates’ court for assaulting a police officer in the clinical area and causing a disturbance on NHS property.
“Following his appearance at court the trust sought an injunction against the father. The injunction is in place for 10 years and includes provision around the father’s use of social media.”
Fears for patient safety were behind 1,190 of the incidents reported to the board, 90 related to security and 37 were linked to data confidentiality.
Among the health and safety incidents, two workers suffered back injuries - one while lifting a box of potatoes and the other as they moved equipment.
An employee cut their hand on exposed broken glass in a plastic bag, and two incidents involved sharp objects - a blade in furniture, and a dirty needle in theatre.
There were also five road traffic accidents - including a worker hit by a vehicle from behind, causing neck injuries.
The report to the board was written by the hospital’s solicitor and head of risk, Angela Wendzicha.
She said 50 formal complaints were filed in the four months, with 15 potential legal claims for clinical negligence.
John Reid, director of nursing and clinical operations at the trust, said it was ‘a sad fact even children’s wards can experience abusive behaviour’.
But he added: “The overwhelming majority of incidents were low or no harm, indicating a healthy reporting culture within the trust.
“Incident reporting helps us to learn from situations, and is assisted by a good feedback system for parents via our Patient Advice and Liaison Service.
“If parents do have any concerns, we encourage them to let us know about their experiences so we can undertake a full investigation and make any change needed.
“The trust will not tolerate threatening behaviour and works closely with the police.”