12 2 mins 7 yrs

We cannot know, and possibly cannot even begin to comprehend, what thoughts were swirling through the mind of this young woman; in the hours before she took the life of her innocent baby, along with her own. Charlotte’s body, along with that of tiny Zaani, lay in the rocks and bushes of the Avon Gorge, and was discovered after someone saw her hospital slippers in the grass. We cannot know; and therefore we must not judge, because the mind, especially the mind of a young woman who has just given birth, is like an unexplored universe.

But we can explore the manner in which this unfortunate young mother was allowed to walk clean out of a ‘controlled environment’, guarded by both electronic door release, and CCTV; and thence clean out of the maternity wing, whilst wearing only hospital slippers on her feet. Possibly an early query, but why was she allowed to walk, especially when the whole place is staffed with ‘dedicated health professionals’?

The hospital has launched a review.

I bet they have!


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12 thoughts on “Dedication; or just another 9-hour job?

  1. She was in a hospital Mike, not a prison.

    The review will most likely focus of her mental state and whether appropriate interventions could have been made earlier.

  2. We are aware that bad things happen in and around NHS hospitals. They happen in US public and private hospitals and nursing homes.

    This is just the usual cut’n’paste moaning and groaning.

    How come no one here ever posts on incidents of hospital / medical malpractice as they occur in private hospitals and nursing homes? Since we are pretending to care about medical care so much.

    I assure you that these incidents can and often do happen in US private facilities. And I’ll bet that they happen in the private BUPA and other UK / European facilities.

    Wanna bet?

  3. From the BBC’s report:

    Ms Bevan was believed to have schizophrenia and depression and had been sleep-deprived after giving birth.

    She was on ‘meds’.

  4. http://claimtime.com/bupa-care-home-fined-for-medical-negligence/

    Maybe one of the ATW moaners and groaners can post a pretend-concern article about this incident in a British private hospital.

    BUPA have been fined £150,000 by the Health and Safety Executive after a case of medical negligence led them to fail in protecting an old woman who later died of personal injuries.

    Brigid O’Callaghan was found dead on October 28th 2005 when she was strangled by her wheelchair lap belt. The court heard that there was a “degree of sloppiness” at Amberley Court Nursing Home at the time of the incident, leading to the woman being left unattended.

    Judge Robert Juckes QC described the medical nagligence claim, stating “Plainly there was a falling away from the standards which the defendants in this case do set for nurses. Inspections both before and after the death demonstrate there was a degree of sloppiness in the running of the house in the months leading up to the death.”

  5. Post-natal depression is a very strong affliction. I’ve seen one of the most even-keeled women I know really get down after the birth of her first son and display some very peculiar behaviour.
    Hospitals have to be open places. Patients often step outside for some fresh air, a chat or a smoke. If someone started controlling them, you wouldn’t be able to hear your ears around her with cries of “police state”, “medical fascists” etc.

  6. To be fair to Mike he hasn’t used this post as a ‘Bash the NHS’ attack, but I do think it is quite unfair to assume that this is an act of gross negligence. As Matt correctly points out this is a hospital not a prison and the woman was not an incarcerated mental treatment patient. It would be impossible to totally watch the movements of every post-natal patient 24 hours a day and what looked like a simple walk turned into a terrible tragedy. Its so easy to be judge and jury after the event.

  7. But it is a moaner and groaner, as the NHS Bash posts are.

    I’d like someone to tell me of a hospital or other system in which errors of various kinds are not made. No medical professional will tell you that any such systems exist.

  8. Phantom

    Of course their is error in every system private and public but it is right that genuine acts of unacceptable unprofessional failure which could have been avoided are picked up and acted upon but I can’t see how this tragic event falls into that category.

  9. There was a time when the medical and nursing professions were largely staffed by dedicated professionals whose main interest was the patient, and not obsessed with filling quotas and ticking boxes. Not so any longer.

    Political interference has tainted what was once a ‘calling’, with room for all levels of education and dedication, none of which has been helped by the political desire for the service to be available to each and everyone and ‘free’ at the point of delivery, – an impractical aim even if with the best of intention.

    General further abuse of usage and of staff, by the public, has further demeaned nursing into being ‘just another job’, where number counting and box ticking has become more important than patient concerns. Add to all that the burden of the ‘corporate’ ethos that the system must be protected at all costs, to the point where an apology for any even minor error is verboten.

    Well done to our politicians – they have succeeded in reducing the one truly caring profession left in our society into just another branch of petty, bickering bureaucracy. Increasingly disrespected by both politicians and public alike the likelihood of increasing the number of careless errors is bound to increase.

    There are still folk who genuinely care working in the profession, but their numbers are diminishing at an ever increasing rate, so that the profession, as a whole seems increasingly bureaucratic while decreasing the quality of service provided.

  10. Beautifully put Ernest.

    As a GP, the constant bashing that we are subjected to as a group has taken it’s toll on me personally and on my close colleagues. To constantly hear and read that we are overpaid, useless, money grabbing etc. has a negative impact and is one of the reasons why there is a recruitment crisis in Primary Care. Coming up to the General election we will hear more and more about providing extra GPs but they will have to be imported as British graduates aren’t interested.

    The BBC and the Daily Mail are strange bedfellows but they are leading the assault on us.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to wake up one morning and hear on Radio 5 Live that GPs are to blame for global warming, as well as everything else.

  11. I don’t know why GPs and the NHS in general shouldn’t be blamed for Global Warming; I mean, everyone else is, so why preclude them? Every breath of hot air coming from my own GP surgery is laced, not only with CO2 warnings, but also truly useless information on my health, my weight, my knees and ankles. Its my body, just let me abuse it in my own time!

  12. I thought that since a couple of cases of baby snatching from maternity wards, these were “locked down”. An important question is whether someone could have got in as easily as this unfortunate girl got out?
    Judging by our local hospital, these days hospitals seem to have so many entrances and exits, and there’s not even a reception desk at the main door, they’ve been moved to the departments concerned. So it would be hard to stop anyone getting in or out if they were really determined.

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