Nurses Suspended Over Patient Negligence Incident

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Nurses Suspended Over Patient Negligence Incident

Doctors and nurses walking in hospital hallway, blurred motion.

Five nurses from the Steve Biko Academic Hospital have been placed on suspension by the facility management after allegations of negligence, the Gauteng health department said on Wednesday.

Their suspension followed an incident at the hospital involving a 28-year-old man which was captured on video by a member of the public at the emergency unit on February 25. “The patient died in hospital,” the department stated.

In the video, the man sitting on the floor is held by two people while others frantically call staff to help the man. One said the person is “dying in front of us while you are busy on the phone”. The nurses quickly took the patient away.

“The facility management continues to engage the affected family to enable the redress process to unfold. Counselling services have also been offered to the family,” said the department’s statement. 

The department described the “unfortunate” incident as happening at a time when the hospital was strengthening interventions to improve patients’ experience of care. “Those measures include the launch of the Gauteng health department’s ‘I Serve with A Smile’ campaign, a change management programme aimed at improving staff attitudes and quality of services.”

The suspensions come as the department investigates the circumstances around the patient’s death and the allegations of negligence by nursing staff. Disciplinary proceedings are expected to follow as authorities determine accountability.