Probe after near-miss at hospital

A JOYFUL moment for a Suffolk couple almost turned to tragedy when a father-to-be was almost hit by a screwdriver as he left Ipswich Hospital's maternity unit.

By Jo Macdonald

A JOYFUL moment for a Suffolk couple almost turned to tragedy when a father-to-be was almost hit by a screwdriver as he left Ipswich Hospital's maternity unit.

Mark Crawford was walking out of the building when he noticed the tool falling to earth and believes had he been a few seconds earlier it would have hit him and could have caused serious injury – or worse.

He was most alarmed at the thought of what may have happened had a mother been being wheeled out with her new baby at the time of the accident.


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Mr Crawford, of Burgate Road, Felixstowe, said: "I had brought my girlfriend in but had come out to roll a cigarette.

"All of a sudden I saw the screwdriver coming through the air and narrowly missing me. If I had been a little bit earlier it would've hit me somewhere.

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"This shouldn't have happened. Accidents do happen but if I'd been wheeling out a push chair, which I'll hopefully be doing soon, that would have been ahead of me. Who knows what would've happened."

Mr Crawford was at the hospital as his girlfriend Tracy Nisbitt had gone into labour with their first child.

He is aware that despite it being a happy occasion it could so easily have ended up with him also in hospital.

And he said he had been given no apology from the man responsible for dropping the screwdriver, who is believed to be a contractor working on the tenth floor.

"When a golfer hits a ball ahead he shouts 'fore' and you say thank you very much," he said. "No one said anything whatsoever.

"And the man who dropped it said absolutely nothing afterwards. He ignored me and I haven't seen him."

"I reported it to the lady in reception of the maternity ward and she apologised," added Mr Crawford, who is already a father of four.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital today said they would be looking into the incident.

She said: "We take the safety and well being of all our patients, visitors, carers and relatives extremely seriously.

"We will launch an immediate investigation and whatever lessons are learned will be put into practise."

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