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Tragedy sparks hospital safety alert
7:00am Friday 5th October 2012 in News
A CORONER has called on the Government to strengthen safety guidelines on hospital windows following the death of a pensioner from Blackmore.
Peter Dean said Southend Hospital was not to blame after a jury at an inquest concluded Robin Blowes, 69, died of multiple injuries after falling from a second-floor window there on July 4, 2010.
However, he promised to write to the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof Dame Sally Davies, to highlight the case.
Mr Blowes, of Blackmore Road, had been treated at the hospital for an operation to remove his bladder.
He fell out of the window in the Edmund Stone Ward after a restrictor, which limits the amount the frame can be opened, was broken.
During the ten-day inquest the jury heard a recommendation had been made for secondary restrictors to be installed in all window frames at the hospital.
This came after another patient had jumped out of a window.
After hearing the narrative verdict returned by the jury, Mr Dean said: “The purpose of this inquest is not to attribute blame, so I am not going to blame Southend Hospital for what happened.”
He added: “I have seen first hand the steps the hospital trust has taken around the issue and it has tried its best to resolve the issue. However, I have decided to write to the chief medical officer informing her of this inquest.
“If other hospitals have similar window restrictors like the one which was forced, then they can be made aware of what happened.
“If another set of circumstances like this tragic case can be avoided, then it will be good.”
Mr Blowes, a retired milkman, had become delusional after the operation and a security guard was placed outside his hospital room door. The inquest heard there was no known explanation as to why he started having hallucinations.
Following the verdict, Bernard Thorogood, the barrister representing Southend Hospital, said: “I would like to express great sympathy to Mr Blowes’ family from the trust.”