CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Outpatient falls on Whittington Hospital escalator

Hospital is conducting a 'full investigation'

12 December, 2016 — By William McLennan

FURTHER questions have been asked about the safety of escalators at the Whittington Hospital after a woman fell on Thursday.

The escalator in the entrance to the Magdala Avenue hospital was closed as nurses quickly attended to the outpatient, who is not thought to be seriously injured.

It follows the death of 88-year-old David Roberts who suffered fatal brain injuries when he fell near the bottom of the escalator on Christmas Eve last year. Speaking after an inquest into his death in August, his son Mike questioned the safety of escalators in hospitals. He said: “I’m wondering how sensible having an escalator in the front [of the hospital] is, given the numbers of vulnerable elderly, young [people], which I think they need to review.”

The hospital said there had been eight accidents on the escalator since June 2012, but none of the others had resulted in serious injury. One passerby, who came to the aid of the fallen woman, said: “She landed quite heavily and seemed like she was in a lot of pain. If you’re having this many acci­dents, one of them fatal, you have to question how safe these things are.”

A spokesman for Whittington Health NHS Trust said: “We are conducting a full investi­gation into the circum­stances surrounding the fall. As well as the esca­lator we also have three lifts in our main reception that are available for patients and visitors to use.”

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