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New 'nil by mouth' poster in wards after patient's death
4:00pm Sunday 27th January 2013 in News
A HEALTH trust has taken steps so as not to repeat a mistake which saw a patient die when he was given a tablet with water even though a sign stated “Nil by Mouth” at the side of his bed.
Norman Betchley, 81, died on April 9, 2009 while in Colchester General Hospital after an agency nurse fed him a heart treatment drug when he was not supposed to be taking anything orally.
When he took it, Mr Betchley, of South Green Road, in Fingringhoe, started coughing and choking. He died soon after.
But after Mr Betchley’s death, one of the main changes the Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, made was to introduce more conspicuous “Nil By Mouth” signs.
The new poster features a meal with a red cross through it, with the words “Nil By Mouth” and “I must not eat and drink”.
When Mr Betchley was a patient in Birch Ward, his sign was a black and white computer print out of “Nil By Mouth”
Mr Betchley’s son, Stuart Betchley, of South Green Road, in Fingringhoe, said: “It is at least evidence the hospital is making sure this horrible mistake never happens again."