NHS investigate sex assault on 79-year-old dying patient at Bradwell Hospital
AN NHS investigation is underway after a 79-year-old man dying of cancer was sexually assaulted in his hospital bed by a fellow patient.
The pensioner was attacked at the 75-bed Bradwell Hospital by the man with mental health problems who burst into his side room.
It is understood the patient had to be restrained by a nurse.
Police were called to the hospital following last week's incident, but are taking no further action because of the poor health of the two men involved.
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Hospital officials today apologised for the incident, which is being investigated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The victim is now recovering at his Newcastle home after being discharged 48 hours early by concerned relatives.
The former miner had been at Bradwell for two weeks after being treated at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire for a kidney infection.
His relatives have been told that the other patient had also been transferred from the University Hospital.
His daughter said: "I got a call from the ward that dad had been assaulted. When I got there they said he had been sexually assaulted by a man.
"I stayed with him through the night to reassure him but he was crying a lot. He tried to get off to sleep but woke up every 10 minutes crying and saying 'do not let him near me'.
"He is terminally ill so what a terrible thing to happen in the final weeks of someone's life.
"The staff told me that if they had been made aware that the man had mental health issues they would never have admitted him. You expect to be safe and not feel threatened in hospital."
His wife said: "My husband has come home to die among his loved-ones but now has this ordeal to cope with."
The CQC has been called in by the patient's family and Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust, which runs Bradwell.
A trust spokesman said: "An incident between two patients was reported at Bradwell Hospital.
"It caused some distress to patients and their families and for this we would like to offer our sincere apologies.
"The outcome of the investigations will be openly shared with the patients and their relatives. The incident was linked to the medical condition of a patient.
"All our community hospital staff are trained to cope with and spot signs of challenging behaviour.
"We continue to work with colleagues across the health community to ensure that patients receive care in the most appropriate setting."
A police spokesman said: "We received an allegation of sexual assault at Bradwell Hospital made by one patient against another.
"The victim, and their family, were spoken to by officers and declined to pursue a complaint against the suspect. Therefore, in line with the victim's wishes, and considering the health of those involved, there will be no further police involvement."