December 4 2013 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Monday, October 14, 2013
The family of a man with mental-health problems who died in hospital, sparking a police investigation, have said they have been left “devastated” by his death.
An inquest is to be opened today into the death of Michael Campion, 49, who had been receiving treatment at Hellesdon Hospital when he had what police described as a “medical emergency” on Tuesday, October 1.
Norfolk police said there had been an “allegation” around the care he received before he was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where he died on Friday, October 4.
The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed that four members of staff have been suspended while the investigation takes place into the death of Mr Campion, who is believed to be from the East Rudham area.
A statement released on behalf of his family said: “We are devastated at the loss of Michael and request our privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”
Norfolk senior coroner Jacqueline Lake is set to open an inquest into Mr Campion’s death at King’s Lynn County Court today at 11.15am.
A post-mortem examination has been carried out, but has not established the cause of death, so further tests will now be carried out.
The death is being treated as unexplained and an investigation, led by the joint Norfolk and Suffolk major investigation team, is currently under way.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Tracey Little said: “We are investigating an allegation around the care the patient received prior to and during the medical emergency.
“A Home Office post-mortem examination has been carried out, but proved inconclusive and further tests will now be carried out.”
The man’s next of kin have been informed and are being supported by police. Police say they cannot discuss what the “medical emergency” was or what the allegation about his care was.
Roz Brooks, director of nursing, quality and patient safety at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hellesdon Hospital, said the trust was also conducting its own internal investigation and four workers had been suspended.
She added: “As well as conducting our internal investigation, we are assisting Norfolk police with their inquiries following a serious incident at Hellesdon Hospital on October 1.
“Patient safety and protecting the vulnerable is the trust’s main priority and, as such, we contacted police as soon as concerns were identified.
“We can confirm that four members of staff have been suspended pending further investigation.
“We are in contact with the family and have expressed our sincere condolences.
“We will not be releasing any further details at this time in line with their wishes.”
Police were quick to stress that the case was not linked to the ongoing enquiries at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston.
A middle-aged hospital worker there has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a patient died after an alleged drugs overdose.