A joint investigation into how an elderly woman patient died at the Royal Sussex County Hospital has been launched after reports she drank cleaning fluid which had been mistaken for orange juice.
Sussex Police and the Care Quality Commission are working closely with each other following the death of the 85-year-old woman at the Eastern Road hospital last month.
The Argus reports today that the investigation is centring around whether she was given a glass of cleaning liquid in the belief it was orange juice.
A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: “Following the sudden death of an 85-year-old woman at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, on Saturday 23 September, an investigation is taking place involving the police, the NHS and the Care Quality Commission.
“The death has been referred to the coroner and at this stage remains unexplained.”
Amanda Stanford, head of hospital inspections, said: “CQC are aware of the death of a patient at Royal Sussex Hospital and our thoughts are with family and friends at this distressing time.
“We can confirm that CQC are currently looking into this and working closely with other stakeholders including Sussex Police. We will report our findings in due course.
“We believe that everyone has a right to consistent, safe, high-quality care.”
A spokesman for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We can confirm that there is an active police investigation into the death of a patient and we are co-operating fully with them.”