INSPECTORS have stepped in to make an emergency visit to a children’s ward at Basildon and Thurrock after the death of at least one child – which YourThurrock understands could have been caused by staff dispensing incorrect medication.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) moved into the hospital at the weekend after being made aware of the incident – but they and the hospital have thrown a veil of secrecy over the affair.
Sources at the hospital have told YT that the problem could involve the death of two children. It is believed incorrect or out of date medication has been dispensed by staff.
The news comes just weeks into the reign of the hospital’s new chief executive Clare Panniker, who accepted a troubled hot seat vacated by her predecessor Alan Whittle after the hospital was criticised for other serious breaches in the expected level of care – some of which have led to the death of patients.
She was supposed to have held an introductory lunch with local journalists on Monday, but that meeting was cancelled as the hospital and Care Quality Commission mounted its investigations into what has happened. A virtual news blackout has been put up by both organisations.
A statement obtained by the Enquirer from the CQC on Monday said: “CQC carried out an inspection at the trust on Saturday, 3 November 2012.
“A report of our inspectors’ full findings will be published in due course. We are also liaising with our partner agencies with regard to the trust and will take any appropriate action where this is deemed necessary.”
The hospital issued a brief statement on Wednesday saying: “Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Trust is committed to providing all its patients with an excellent level of care in a safe environment.
“Following two recent incidents at Basildon Hospital, where the care we delivered to children did not meet this standard, we are working with the Care Quality Commission to strengthen our paediatric services.”
Clare Panniker said: “I want to ensure that every child coming to Basildon Hospital is given the possible best care. We are working hard to strengthen our paediatric services to make sure this is achieved.”