What does a body lying undiscovered for three days tell us about Watford Hospital?

It is perfectly disgusting that a young man's body could remain undiscovered for three days in Watford Hospital. This is of course the main acute hospital for everyone in St Albans after the government closed down most of the departments at St Albans City Hospital and then reneged on its promise to build a new super-hospital at Hatfield. The body was found in a toilet. Allegedly it had an out-of-order notice on the door. But it is still difficult to comprehend that a proper cleaning regime would not have exposed the tragedy much sooner West Hertfordshire Hospital Trust is rightly holding an inquiry into the case.

The results of the inquiry must be made public, in order to reassure patients and their families that processes have been changed, and to reassure the public that this could never happen again. Sal Brinton, my fellow Liberal Democrat candidate in Watford has been campaigning for years for improvements to be made in the running of the hospital for the sake of everyone in West Herts. Sal has posed the following questions, in light of the most recent Healthcare Commission Healthcheck report on West Herts Hospital Trust in 2008: 1. What monitoring was in place for a patient in distress, and what arrangements were made to search the hospital for him after he disappeared? (Healthcare Commission report 2007/8: C20a: safe, secure environment: Insufficiently Met C20b: privacy and confidentiality: Poor National indicator: experience of patients rated Poor) 2. What arrangements were in place for cleaning the toilets, for a body not to be discovered for this length of time? C21: Clean, well designed environment: Compliant (but not met in 2005/6) National indicators: C. Dif and MRSA targets: not met Residents of West Hertfordshire deserve to know what happened as a matter of urgency.

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