Four people sacked after man died outside hospital

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By Walsall Advertiser | Thursday, October 25, 2012, 09:20

FOUR members of staff from Walsall Manor Hospital have been sacked after failing to help a man who collapsed and died outside its accident and emergency department.

Two nurses, a porter and a receptionist were axed from their posts following an internal investigation by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust into 47-year-old Carl Cope's tragic death back in June.

Bosses admitted this week that the level of care shown to Mr Cope was "unacceptable" and vowed to "learn from the mistakes" made on that day. Two other members of staff have received a "disciplinary sanction" in light of the Trust's inquiry.

Richard Kirby, chief executive at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "I would first like to offer my sincere condolences to the family of Mr Cope and apologise for the failings in care provided to the patient by a small proportion of Trust staff.

"The level of care provided to this patient was unacceptable and fell well below our aim to provide a consistently first-class experience to all those that use our services.

"In light of the investigation, disciplinary charges were brought against six members of staff."

Mr Kirby added: "We have taken the findings in this investigation very seriously indeed and are working closely with West Midlands Ambulance Service to learn from the mistakes made and ensure that these events are not repeated.

"We are committed to supporting staff to ensure that we keep our promises to patients that they should feel, welcomed, cared for and in safe hands."

The investigation, which ran for over three months, was launched after Mr Cope was taken by ambulance to Manor Hospital on June 23 complaining of chest pains. There he was asked to sit in the waiting room of the accident and emergency department, says the Trust.

But when Mr Cope left the waiting area to go for some fresh air, he collapsed outside the department's entrance. A post mortem found he died of a heart attack.

A paramedic from West Midlands Ambulance Service Trust (WMAST) was also sacked over the incident while a second resigned before its own two-week investigation was completed back in August. Two ambulance staff members – an emergency medical technician and care assistant – were also given written warnings.

At the time, WMAST said it would do "everything necessary" to maintain high standards of care and that "robust action" would be taken when issues arose.

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