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A hospital has “apologized unreservedly” to the families of almost 50 patients who died after contracting Covid-19 on its wards.

A “robust” internal investigation was launched following the outbreak at Weston General Hospital in Somerset in May, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust said.

The hospital temporarily stopped accepting new patients, including to its accident and emergency department, from 8 am on May 25. It reopened fully again in June.

On Thursday, medical director Dr. William Oldfield said the trust had reviewed the clinical notes of all inpatients at the hospital between May 5 and 24 who had tested positive for coronavirus either during their treatment or after they were discharged.

The investigation found that 31 patients had died after contracting the virus while they were being treated at the hospital.

Another 18 people who were infected while they were inpatients died sometime later, but the virus may have contributed to their deaths, the probe found.

Dr. Oldfield said: “During the investigation, we identified 31 patients who have sadly passed away having contracted coronavirus infection whilst they were an inpatient in the hospital.

“A detailed review of each of these individuals was undertaken.

“To our profound regret, in 18 of these patients, the infection may have contributed to their death.

Dr. Oldfield said the foundation trust had “apologized unreservedly” to the patients’ families and offered them support.

“For each family concerned we will undertake an investigation into the specific circumstances which led up to the death of their loved one,” he added.

But Dr Oldfield said the trust’s investigation had not identified a single cause of the outbreak but a number of factors may have contributed. Read more

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