Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NHS patient 'savaged by rat' while lying sedated on hospital ward

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.”


Anonymous said...

Vive le socialized medicine!

Anonymous said...

Things like this are widely reported by the anti-socialised medicine brigade, but the tens of thousands of people who are saved from illness, injury and death every year (treated without question, and not ending up with a lifetime's worth of debt) are ignored.
I for one sleep more soundly knowing that if I were to be hit by a car tomorrow, or fall over in the street from a previously unknown condition, I would be treated immediately, and for free.

Bacopa said...

I think this is very odd. I am assumong it was a Norway rat, not a black rat. Just seems like a Norway rat to be so bold as to nibble on some meat in a lighted room. However, the initial report of a field mouse suggests a black rat. They have a more mouselike profile.

Also, I don't know what field mice are like in the UK. Are they actually a type of large vole? If so they would be similar to the cotton "rats" of the Americas.

Just looked up the UK field vole on Wikipedia. Too small to be mistaken for a rat.

I'm still betting Norway rat. Took an investigative sniff and nibble. Patient didn't move, so meat's on the menu.

Just a former rodent breeder and caretaker here with some relevant questions