Criminal Investigation Launched into Deaths at Brighton Hospital

Published on 12 Jun 2023

A police investigation into deaths arising as a result of alleged medical negligence at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton has raised serious concerns about patient safety and the quality of care provided.

Sussex Police has initiated an investigation covering a five-year period, spanning from 2015 to 2020, and focuses on potential failings in both neurosurgery and general surgery. Although the exact number of deaths being looked into remains undisclosed, reports suggest that it could be as high as 40. The University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, has pledged its full cooperation with the criminal investigation, and the police have emphasised that the early stage of the inquiry does not automatically imply wrongdoing.

This investigation follows an earlier incident in May when the Care Quality Commission (CQC) downgraded the Royal Sussex County Hospital to a "requires improvement" rating after a group of whistle-blowers alerted the authorities. Their concerns prompted an inspection which revealed potential issues within the hospital's practices and procedures. Consequently, the investigation by Sussex Police is a further step to assess whether patient safety is at risk and whether avoidable deaths have occurred.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, has expressed deep concern over the ongoing investigation and has called for complete cooperation with the police to ensure a thorough and unbiased examination of the allegations.

The Trust has acknowledged that it has been contacted by Sussex Police in relation to the investigation and while refraining from providing further details at this stage, it has affirmed its commitment to fully cooperating with the investigation.

Sussex Police's decision to probe the matter reflects the importance of thoroughly examining these allegations to maintain public trust and accountability within the healthcare system, as well as to assess if any criminal actions have been committed. As the investigation progresses, it is crucial that all stakeholders cooperate fully to shed light on the situation and take appropriate actions to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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