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Newsletter - Tue 17 Oct, 2023

First, sorry for a lack of newsletters last week. As you probably know, this project comes after family commitments and a day job - but recently some time with Covid had to be added to that list.

Secondly, in the last couple of newsletters web links may not have been showing in email apps on some phones. I contacted Steady (who provide the newsletter platform) and the problem looks to have been fixed.

Thanks, David Grantham

In this issue...

- An elderly man who fractured his hip at his care home experienced a five-day wait for an operation at East Surrey Hospital, contributing to his death, the coroner has found.

- Plans to redevelop the former Kimberley Clark offices in Reigate have been approved. The new office building will be larger, but have fewer car parking spaces.

- Reigate & Banstead has announced (Opens in a new window) that it will hold its Christmas panto, Beauty and the Beast, in a purpose-built "Big Top" in Memorial Park, while the Harlequin remains closed because of RAAC. A pop-up in the Belfry will host a number of the other events that would have taken place at the theatre over coming months.


- A planning application (Opens in a new window) has been submitted to change the use of Subud Hall, a vacant church hall in Allingham Road, Reigate, into a children's nursery for up to 65 children.

- A collision involving a pedestrian and a Nissan Qashqai happened in the early hours of Saturday (14 October), in Dovers Green Road near the Hartswood sports ground. The pedestrian, a man, had to be taken to hospital where he was "in a serious condition" police said on Saturday. The driver was uninjured. Anyone who saw the incident, which happened around 1.35am, or has other information such as dashcam footage, is asked to contact the police - details and reference number here (Opens in a new window).

- Police say a "serious assault" took place at Urban Kitchen in Reigate's Church Street in the early hours of Sunday (15 October), around 1.10am. Officers were called to the bar following reports of an altercation between two groups of people resulting in three people being injured, Surrey Police said on Sunday. "The four suspects, who are all male, are believed to have left in a taxi prior to police arrival. They are all described as White and between 20-50 years of age." Police would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident, has other information, or who recognises a CCTV image of a man they are keen to speak to in connection with the ongoing investigation. The image is here (Opens in a new window) along with contact details.

5-day wait for fractured hip operation contributed to death, coroner finds

  • Entrance sign at East Surrey Hospital (SASH)

By Emily Coady-Stemp, Local Democracy Reporter

A Surrey hospital is putting “patients at risk of early death”, according to the coroner looking in to the death of a 92-year-old man who waited five days for a hip operation.

Douglas Nickols died of pneumonia at East Surrey Hospital on 11 March, having fallen at his care home on 28 February.

He was taken to East Surrey Hospital on the day of his fall, but waited until 5 March for an operation on his fractured left hip.

The elderly patient subsequently deteriorated with pneumonia and died,  a prevention of future deaths report published on 29 September reads.

The conclusion of the inquest said: “Mr Nickols therefore remained immobile for a number of days prior to the operation taking place, which contributed to his death.”

The report (Opens in a new window) was sent by the coroner to the chief executive of the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital.

Anna Crawford, assistant coroner for Surrey, said in her report that at East Surrey Hospital it was sometimes not possible to do such operations on the day of admission or the next day, as set out in NICE guidelines.

She said: “Early mobilisation is recommended for hip fracture patients to reduce the risk of complications, including pneumonia.

“The coroner is concerned that in failing to comply with the NICE guidelines in this way, the trust is placing such patients at risk of early death.”

The chief medical officer at the trust said a transformation project was being carried out to improve time to surgery, including new wards opening with dedicated beds for patients before and after hip fracture surgery.

Ed Cetti added: “An action plan is being put together to ensure we learn lessons, and importantly, improve our care for future patients.”

An inquest in to his death heard evidence in April that Mr Nickols was clinically fit for surgery following his admission to East Surrey Hospital but other trauma patients were prioritised ahead of him because of their relative clinical need.

The medical causes of death were listed as bronchopneumonia, fractured left neck of femur and frailty of old age.

Miss Crawford said action should be taken to prevent future deaths, and that the NHS trust had 56 days to respond to her report.
The response should outline what action has been or will be taken along with a timetable, or an explanation why if no action is proposed.

Dr Cetti said: “I extend my deepest sympathies to Mr Nickols’ family at this very difficult time and sincerely apologise for the delay in his surgery.

“We take this extremely seriously and are in the process of reviewing the coroner’s report and will respond within the timeframe set by the coroner.

“As a trust we are focused on how we manage our patients who require urgent surgery and how we prioritise based on clinical need with a particular emphasis on patients who have been admitted with a fractured hip.”

Plans approved to redevelop former Kimberley Clark offices

  • Impression from planning documents (DNA Architecture)

An office building just down from the level crossing in Reigate is to be redeveloped into something twice the size, but with less space for parking.

Douglas House, at 40 London Road, will be transformed into a building with a gross internal floor area of 6,553 square metres, as against the existing 2,905, under plans (Opens in a new window) submitted by Metro Property Unit Trust and now approved by Reigate & Banstead's planning committee. (Opens in a new window)

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