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Watchdog slams hospital bosses over neglect case
Hospital bosses have been criticised by a patients’ group after three Whipps Cross nurses were jailed for neglecting elderly patients.
Healthwatch Waltham Forest said Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the Leytonstone hospital, had failed to address problems and safeguard patients.
Akousa Sakyiwaa, 37, of Orange Grove, Leytonstone, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Courton Friday to 12 months in prison for four counts of ill treatment or neglect of elderly patients.
Sharmilla Gunda, 36, of Horns Road, Ilford, was sentenced to 5 months in prison for one count of ill treatment or neglect and Annette Jackson, 33, of Simpson Road, Hounslow, was sentenced to 2 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 100 hours unpaid work for one count of ill treatment or neglect.
A police investigation was launched when a student nurse reported the abusive treatment on the ward.
Manager of Healthwatch Waltham Forest, Jaime Walsh, said: "The trial and sentencing of these individuals has highlighted failures in listening to the patient voice and safeguarding patients.
“Vulnerable elderly people were unable or reluctant to speak up and the Trust failed to see or address what was happening on the wards.
“Healthwatch Waltham Forest expects Barts Health NHS Trust to properly safeguard all patients and create an environment where they feel confident enough to voice concerns and to know that they will be listened to.
“We will continue to work with Barts Health to improve services at Whipps Cross.”
Healthwatch Waltham Forest said it supports the introduction of an ‘Excellence in Older People’s Care’ programme at Barts Health hospitals and will monitor its progress.
The group is one of 151 new health watchdogs set up nationally to be the voice of patients in the NHS.
In a statement Barts Health NHS Trust said: "We apologise unreservedly to the patients of Beech Ward and their families for the indefensible failings in their treatment during their time in our care.
"There can be no place under any circumstances for such behaviour in our Trust or in the wider NHS.
"Following an internal disciplinary investigation all three healthcare support workers have had their contracts of employment with Barts Health terminated.
"On learning of the allegations of mistreatment, we immediately notified the police of our concerns, self-declared to the Care Quality Commission and closed the ward while these concerns were investigated.
"Subsequently, we invited the CQC back to the hospital to conduct further inspections."
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