Stafford Hospital: Back in the spotlight

Stafford Hospital, Accident & Emergency Photo: ITV News Central

From 2005 to 2008, between 400 and 1200 more people died at Stafford Hospital than would have been expected.

Senior managers at the hospital maintain that standards since then have greatly improved, and say it is now one of the safest hospitals in the country.

However, the hospital has recently been in the spotlight again after more revelations. In one instance, four-month-old Mason Fellows, was found with a dummy taped to his face.

His mother, Sarah Fellows, said she was "absolutely devastated" when she was informed by a senior nurse about the incident three days after it happened.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust apologised for the "exceptional" incident. A member of staff from Stafford Hospital has been suspended.

Police are investigating.

Baby Mason was recovering at Stafford Hospital after being admitted with breathing issues. Credit: Family photo

Another case involved a man who had a stroke, but was told it was simply a trapped nerve.

Fred Darlington was sent home from the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust hospital, after being taken there a short time earlier by a paramedic.

Fred Darlington's stroke went undiagnosed by staff at Stafford Hospital Credit: ITV News Central

Later in the day, his partner was giving a piano lesson at their home to the daughter of a friend who is a GP.

The doctor called to collect her and spotted further symptoms. She concluded he had probably suffered a stroke and could be about to have another more serious one.

Mr Darlington was taken by ambulance to hospital in Stoke. He was given a brain scan which revealed he had had a stroke - and given vital medication to help prevent it happening again.

He said: "When I think about myself and the situation...I am not very pleased at all."

In a statement, the hospital's chief executive Lyn Hill Tout, says Mr Darlington was seen by a doctor - who asked a stroke consultant to assess him further.

"He felt the problem was not typical of a stroke. He made arrangements for Mr Darlington to be followed up the following week to carry out further tests."

The case of Mr Darlington has been investigated.

In another recent case, relatives of Ted Worrall, 79, say he was sent home from Stafford Hospital, without proper equipment and the home nursing care he needed.

In a statement, Colin Overton, Director of Nursing, said:

"We are sorry for any distress caused to Mr Worrall and his family. This should not have happened. The family contacted us and we thought we had done everything we could to remedy the situation."