Another disgraceful failure at Wycombe Hospital

The Bucks Free Press reports the result of an inquest into the death of Edward Maitland last year – Elderly man died after hospital feeding blunder:

A FRAIL man unable to eat solid foods died from aspiration pneumonia after hospital staff wrongly fed him meals on the ward, an inquest heard.

A post mortem discovered a large amount of food in the throat and lungs of Edward Maitland, which led to the infection and ultimately his death.


Gary Maitland said he explicitly told medics that his father was on a liquid diet when he was admitted to the hospital’s emergency centre with dehydration, confusion and shortness of breath on December 11, 2011.

He even took supplies of his father’s supplements into the hospital to ensure he was fed the correct version of the prescribed liquid food, Fortisips.

A person’s life must not be allowed to hang on a chance conversation. As a chartered aerospace engineer, I would not accept such a crass breach of quality standards in aircraft maintenance: there is no reason whatever why health staff cannot ensure simple, effective quality systems are in place to protect the public from simple yet life-threatening errors.

We understand the NHS Trust brought in a raft of new measures following Mr Maitland’s death, including a new form to log key information when patients are transferred. How appalling that this basic requirement of quality care was not in place beforehand. If we find it slips and there is a tragic repeat, senior managers must be held directly to account.

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