Scandal Reveals NHS device may have killed Great Yarmouth man

A Great Yarmouth man was one of at least four patients who may have died when the NHS continued using syringe drivers after safety concerns had been raised.

Michael Shuckford ,a retired butcher aged 79, who  died on August 2, 2012 was terminally ill but was given a 24-hour dose of diamorphine in 12 hours at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston using a syringe driver, a battery-operated device which delivers medication automatically.

An investigation by the Sunday Times reveals the devices were permitted to be used until 2015, despite warnings over the risk of fatalities from user error from 2010. It goes on to state up to nine people died because Britain continued to use the syringe pumps when other countries had chosen to stop using them.

In 2010 health bosses opted for a five-year transition period to phase out the devices rather than issue an immediate recall, despite doctors raising concerns after cases emerged of patients receiving dangerous over-infusions of drugs caused by confusion over how the models operated.

In June, an NHS whistleblower told the Times that the syringe pumps’ use could have resulted in widespread premature deaths among elderly patients over the years and one of those could have been Mr Shuckford.

At  the time coroner William Armstrong reported Mr Shuckford died from natural causes – as he had a combination of serious illnesses including a heart condition and renal failure – but the infusion of medication through a syringe driver was recorded as a contributory factor, whilst matron of the ward where Mr Shuckford died Sarah Plume, apologised on behalf of James Paget Hospital and accepted that the inquest had revealed evidence of confusion and misunderstandings.

Yesterday Mr Shuckford’s son David told the Sunday Times: “Mistakes like that just shouldn’t happen. It’s about people’s lives at the end of the day, so it shouldn’t be down to cost. If they’re potentially dangerous, they shouldn’t be using them.”

The hospital said it launched a “comprehensive investigation” following Mr Shuckford’s death and all Graseby MS 16A and MS 26 syringe pumps were replaced by the end of May 2012.

Demolition Work Begins at Former Holiday Resort Site

Demolition crews have begun work at the former Pontins holiday park in Hemsby,

Work began yesterday, ripping down the buildings after a suspected arson attack at the derelict Beach Road site.

Last Saturday’s fire was attended by over 90 fire fighters and saw flames engulf the former reception area causing  the roof to collapse.  If approved by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, landowners Northern Trust have unveiled plans to redevelop the site with a total of 240 homes and holiday units.   The demolition work will be carried out by Anglian Demoltion and Asbestos Ltd.

General Public Members Praised For Assisting Off Duty

An off duty police officer  offers praise and thanks to quick-thinking members of the public who rushed to assist him and retired police dog Sable after a shop owner asked for help.

A chase by the off duty Norfolk Police and  members of the public resulted in two men being quickly arrested for “various offences” in Hopton-on-Sea on Saturday, August 18.

In sending out a “big thank you” to the quick-thinking locals, Retired Police Dog Sable – who used to work for the Metropolitan Police task force – took to Twitter to praise the efforts and tweeted: “I want to say a big thank you to the members of public who stopped to give me help and support yesterday in Hopton on Sea. Was off duty when staff at a shop I was in asked for assistance. After a foot chase I arrested 2 males for various offences.”

Those who helped received further praise from Inspector  Lou Provart at Norfolk Constabulary, who tweeted: “Thank you to the people who helped my colleague off duty chase down and apprehend two suspects. Great example of people stepping up to help protect our communities.”


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