A vulnerable patient was savaged by a rat as he lay sedated in his hospital bed, his parents have claimed. The rodent bit terrified Jason Ketley more than a dozen times on his back and neck, leaving him with painful and bloody injuries. His ordeal only ended when staff spotted the 42-year-old stumbling around a corridor with the rat hanging from his neck by its teeth.
Nurses knocked the creature off and killed it. Hospital bosses claim it was a field mouse. But Jason’s mother Pat Boardman said: “That’s an outrageous claim. He had large, open bite marks. “I’m appalled that this sort of thing could happen to my son in an NHS hospital in this day and age. He was completely helpless and terrified. It’s a disgrace. He was very scared and the staff had to show him they had killed the rat to prove it could no longer hurt him.”
Jason, who has a mental age of two, was attacked shortly after going to bed at a specialist care unit in St Ebba’s hospital, Epsom, Surrey. Pat heard about the incident after calling the unit to see how he was doing. The 64-year-old, who lives with Jason’s stepdad Tom, in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, added: “I was horrified. He was quite heavily sedated and wasn’t able to defend himself.” Jason, who is also bi-polar, was taken to Epsom General Hospital where he was given injections against diptheria, tetanus and polio before being returned to the unit.
His parents have made a formal complaint to the Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust about last November’s attack. The Trust’s director of quality and nursing Jo Young described the incident as “genuinely shocking” and said the couple’s concerns were being taken “very seriously”. She added: “Our records indicate a mouse was seen in the house and pest control was alerted immediately but we are unable to provide a complete response to all the concerns raised until we know the outcome of our investigation.”