Hassocks psychiatric hospital staff failed to call ambulance to dying woman for 25 minutes, inquest hears

Natasha Raghoo

Natasha Raghoo

First published in News by , Reporter

A grieving mother broke down as an inquest was told of the “poor” attempts to save the life of her daughter.

Natasha Raghoo died at The Dene mental health hospital in Hassocks after a suspected cardiac arrest, an inquest was told.

The hearing at County Hall North in Horsham was told Miss Rhagoo, who had bipolar disorder, was found unresponsive at 6.30am on May 5, 2012, but paramedics were not called to the psychiatric hospital until 6.55am.

Roy Nightingale told the inquest he asked why he was not called sooner. He said he was not given a response.

Mr Nightingale, clinical operations manager for South East Coast Ambulance Service, said: “I would have expected a complete hand over, it being a medical establishment.”

When he arrived at Miss Raghoo’s ward, he said a member of staff was carrying out “poor” CPR which was “too soft and too shallow” next to a defibrillator that had not been used.

Mr Nightingale added: “I was surprised to see it hadn’t been used – if it had been used, it would have guided the staff through the process.”

Ronald McClung, a ward manager who is responsible for the basic life support training at the hospital, said being asked to give CPR to patients was “very uncommon” at The Dene.

He said: “I cannot say how staff are going to react in emergencies, all I can do is provide them with the training. I can’t be there 24 hours a day.”

When asked whether nurse’s skills should differ in a psychiatric hospital to a general hospital, Mr Nightingale said: “Basic life support is basic life support, I would expect the same level from a trained member of the public.”

Miss Raghoo was admitted to the mental health facility on April 27, after a suspected relapse to her condition.

In the early hours of May 5 she was put on 15-minute observations to check her condition after she worsened.

Her family discovered Miss Raghoo had died when they called to check on her at 9.30am on May 5.

Outside the inquest her brother Navind Raghoo said: “It has been very difficult. We just want justice for Natasha.”

A week before her death Miss Raghoo wrote a letter raising issues about being far away from her family in Croydon and the trouble they were having arranging visiting times.

The inquest continues.

Comments (2)

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11:41am Wed 19 Feb 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

This sounds terrible. Why didn't the staff use the equipment that was there, why didn't they call an ambulance immediately? Why isn't any action being taken against the staff involved?
This sounds terrible. Why didn't the staff use the equipment that was there, why didn't they call an ambulance immediately? Why isn't any action being taken against the staff involved? getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 11

12:12pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Minion says...

Maybe I'm just cynical, but it seems that these days most people are not capable of doing their jobs properly, it's as if they're all unqualified people who have left their more suited jobs in pubs and McDonald's and blagged their way into more responsible roles such as nurses, teachers, doctors and politicians, bragging about their job titles yet not really having a clue what they're doing or talking about. They're like kids playing pretend.
If you go to the bank and ask the bank teller a simple question they ALWAYS have to ask their manager because they don't know anything.
Perhaps it's just the lazy British culture and general dumbing down of society, it might also have something to do with greedy employers paying minimum wage.
Maybe I'm just cynical, but it seems that these days most people are not capable of doing their jobs properly, it's as if they're all unqualified people who have left their more suited jobs in pubs and McDonald's and blagged their way into more responsible roles such as nurses, teachers, doctors and politicians, bragging about their job titles yet not really having a clue what they're doing or talking about. They're like kids playing pretend. If you go to the bank and ask the bank teller a simple question they ALWAYS have to ask their manager because they don't know anything. Perhaps it's just the lazy British culture and general dumbing down of society, it might also have something to do with greedy employers paying minimum wage. Minion
  • Score: 6

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