THE head of the Island’s health trust has pledged to improved communication between services, following a number of complaints about patient care.

In her chief executive officer’s report, put before the NHS trust board last week, Maggie Oldham said: “Over the past weeks I have met with several families who have had reason to bring to my attention the care they, or their loved ones received, fell short of the standard we aspire to.”

Ms Oldham also attended a coroner’s inquest on June 22, following the death of retired prison officer, Cuthbert Hingert.

Admitted to the hospital two days earlier suffering from shortness of breath, Mr Hingert was accidentally given an extra dose of anti-coagulant drugs — used to treat people suspected of a heart attack.

A serious incident requiring investigation (SIRI) report carried out by the hospital concluded it was unclear whether the medication error had played any part in his death.

Speaking at the inquest, Ms Oldham said the trust was awaiting developments by manufacturers to make computer systems ‘talk’ to one another.

Isle of Wight coroner, Caroline Sumeray, said there were a number of issues where the trust had treated Mr Hingert in a ‘sub-optimal’ way but the trust had accepted that.

In her report to the board, Ms Oldham said the main theme from the complaints and inquest were communication, including non-verbal and within digital records.

In her report, she said: “A great deal of energy is going into improving how we respond to complaints.

“The meetings I have with those who have complaints and concerns are difficult but incredibly useful for me to ensure I fully understand the difficulties we have created as an organisation and as individual members of staff for some patients and their families.

“All I ask of staff is they do their job to the very best of their abilities, escalating either in person to managers, or via our incident reporting system when things go wrong.”