Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust has reached an undisclosed settlement with the family of a diabetic patient who died whilst in the care of the Alexandra Hospital, who failed to monitor her blood glucose levels. Margaret Pitt, 55 died in November 2010. She had lived with Type 1 diabetes for 30 years.
The Trust has given an unreserved apology for the failures in her care. Chris Tidman, deputy chief executive of the Trust confirmed that “a number of improvements have been made to our clinical processes to ensure that these mistakes don’t happen again.”
At an inquest in June 2012, a coroner ruled that a nurse looking after Mrs Pitt committed a gross failure by not taking a blood glucose reading. A second nurse did not know what to do when Mrs Pitt had low blood glucose levels and also failed to give a proper handover to other staff. Mrs Pitt suffered an irreversible brain injury and sadly died. The coroner described the failings as “unacceptable”. The family have referred the case to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Approximately 400,000 people in the UK live with Type 1 diabetes, including around 29,000 children. The condition is treated with daily insulin injections and it is vital that blood glucose levels are monitored, especially during any period of hospitalisation.