Bedford Hospital apologises to patient pricked by discarded syringe

Syringe in the sink at Bedford A&E department. Image David Williamson
Syringe in the sink at Bedford A&E department. Image: David Williamson

A spokesperson for Bedford Hospital has apologised to a patient after they were pricked by a discarded syringe in a hand basin, saying incidences of this nature are “extremely rare”.

David Williamson was visiting Bedford on Tuesday (2 April) when he was taken ill with chest pains.

He went to the Accident and Emergency Department at Bedford Hospital and while waiting in a treatment room, decided to wash his hands.

“While in the treatment room, I was on a trolley and leaned over to the sink close by to wash my hands,” David told the Bedford Independent.

“I received a prick from a discarded needle in the sink so I rang the bell and informed the charge nurse, who seemed unconcerned and laid back.”

After speaking to a doctor, David has had two blood tests – including one to test for HIV.

“I am very psychologically distressed and concerned and can do without catching anything unnecessary due to hospital carelessness,” he said. 

A spokesperson for Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have strict infection control measures in place to protect the health of all our patients, visitors and staff, and can confirm an incident of this nature is extremely rare.

“We are very sorry for the concerns and distress experienced by this patient within our Emergency Department at Bedford Hospital. We are currently carrying out a thorough internal investigation in order to prevent a similar incident happening in the future and are in contact with the patient through our PALS/Complaints service.”