HOSPITAL ATTACK: Full story and photos
TWO elderly patients who were brutally attacked in their hospital beds by another patient on Saturday are lucky to be alive.
Now the families of those attack they want an urgent inquiry into how the attack could have happened and the response by security staff
They were among five patients and two employees at Newham General Hospital, Plaistow, who were injured in an attack by the 22-year-old patient, who has now been sectioned for his own safety.
Staff called in police shortly after 12.40am on Saturday during the incident.
One woman, Mrs Consuelo Camacho aged 75, from Stratford has head injuries after the attack in a ward. Another, aged 80, Mrs Margaret George, was hit on the arms and legs and has severe bruises after she pleaded with the attacker to stop hitting her fellow patient.
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Both of them are now “feeling scared” say relatives.
Mrs Camacho, from Stratford was “critical” after the incident, but her condition is now “serious but stable.” She has been transferred to The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel.
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Mrs Camacho’s daughter, Melita Camacho told the Recorder: “The nurses could not do much because he was so strong. He managed to somehow get where my mum’s bed is and then starting hitting her in the head with something metal.She was badly hit.”
She said her mother had been knocked out of bed by the force of the blows.
The attack only stopped when the female patient bed opposite, Mrs George, bed shouted at the assailant, who then turned his attentions to her, Ms Camacho said.
Mrs Thomas said a witness had told her that the attack was triggered when the man called for help from nurses but received none.
The witness told her the man began hitting his head repeatedly against a wall before picking up the metal bar and striking an approaching nurse, more than 35 times.
Both Mrs Camacho’s family and the relatives of Mrs George said they were now very confused and fearful of another attack.
Melita said: “Mum was moved on Sunday to The Royal London, but she is very unstable. She does not even want to talk to or be seen by doctors and nurses at the moment. She is continually crying and just wants to go home.
“She has a broken jaw, but this cannot be treated until her blood count is more stable. She is afraid she will be beaten up again. She has a liver complaint and is very poorly.
“This has all been disgusting. We want an inquiry into what happened. We have spoken to the health authority and they have been very kind, but this just should not have happened. “
She said the security staff took ages to arrive, the nurses were begging them to come.
“They were called loads of times and the police were called last and arrived first.”
Grandson Lord Camacho said: “This is unbelievable. She was hit by something like an iron bar. Everyone who was hurt was just defenceless.”
Great grandmother Mrs George, 80, from Canning Town, is stable after the attacker ripped out her drip and hit her on the arms and legs. But on Monday, 19 stitches which were inserted into her wounds burst and have had to be re-stitched.
Her daughter Susan Dunne said: “This was just disgusting. It should just not have happened. If the attacker had done to mum what he did to the other lady, she would not have survived. She only got attacked because she tried to persuade the attacker to stop, We need answers.”
The grand-daughter of Mrs George, Mrs Larraine Thomas, 40, told the Recorder tonight. “My nan went in hospital to have a medical procedure and get well. Now she and another elderly lady are attacked by a maniac. They are both terrified. The man came into the ward shouting and screaming and started attacking the lady opposite my nan (Mrs Camacho).
“He was hitting her around the head many times. My nan pleaded with him to stop, and he came over to her and ripped her drip out and then started hitting her on the arms and legs with what my nan said was like an iron bar.”
She said: “They are lucky to be alive.”
Another relative of one of the patients told us: “ This whole incident was sickening. The security staff were called nine times. Then the nurses called 999. The police got to the ward 15 minutes after the incident started and still before hospital security
“When a family arrived at the ward at 2pm the badly injured lady’s bedding was still covered in blood! .We had to ask the nurses on duty to change these.”
Three other male patients, were hurt and two female staff suffered injuries while restraining the man. The patients were asleep when the attack happened.
The attacker, was arrested, and was kept in custody under 24-hour guard in a ward at the hospital, where he is handcuffed to a bed. But after being sectioned on Sunday evening by health experts and police he has now been moved out of the hospital.
The hospital said an investigation was under way. A statement from Newham University Hospital NHS Trust confirmed that they and police were carrying out more detailed investigations into the incident.
The Trust said the incident involved five patients and two clinical members of staff, and that neither drugs nor alcohol were not involved in the incident.
“Newham University Hospital NHS Trust places patients and their safety at the centre of our decision making, “ said a spokeswoman.
Senior management were at the hospital all day Saturday and Sunday to help with the inquiries and to check on patients and staff.
It is believed the man who carried out the attack was admitted with an infection. But it is now believed he has mental health issues. Health chiefs said it was a freak incident.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said the attack was carried out with an “improvised weapon.”
He said now that the man had been sectioned, police and health experts were awaiting a decision from the Crown Prosecution Service on how to proceed.
On Monday afternoon, Michaela Morris, Trust Interim Chief Executive said she had instigated an inquiry into what happened.
“It will look at all aspects of what happened, but patient care and safety is at the centre of our decision making. We will look at all policies.
“It was the most unusual incident I have seen in 27 years in the NHS.”
She said all policies would be reviewed and changes made where necessary.