Croydon University Hospital have apologises and carried out reforms after the death of a man who fell from his hospital bed while he was unattended.

Hospital authorities said they had implemented changes after South Norwood man George Gomez, 84, fell from his bed two days after he was admitted for abdominal pain on January 21 earlier this year.

George's fall happened two days later and he sadly died on January 26.

At an inquest into his death held earlier this year at South London Coroners' Court, a coroner concluded that the "cause of death was a subdural haemorrhage as a result of a fall from his bed while he was unsupervised on the observation ward at Croydon University Hospital".

Speaking after his death, George's daughter Sharon, 50, said: "My father was the kindest, most generous and thoughtful man and the devastation his loss has caused our family is immeasurable.

"He was quite simply the best father and grandfather we could possibly have wished for.

"Dad touched so many people’s lives with his acts of kindness and I have lost count of the number of people I have never met who have come up to me in the street to ask after him."

George's family worked with lawyers from Osborne's Law and helped secure changes from the hospital in the aftermath.

During the inquest, the hospital apologised directly to the South Norwood man's family and said they had implemented reforms designed to prevent any similar cases happening in the future.

Responding to a request from the Croydon Guardian, a spokesperson for Croydon Health Services NHS Trust said:

"Our deepest condolences are with the family of Mr Gomez. We strive to provide every patient with safe, high quality care and are incredibly sorry that on this occasion, we fell short of these expectations.

"We have provided evidence to the Coroner of improved processes for resolving temporary staffing issues as well as the implementation of enhanced care teams and dedicated falls prevention leads on our inpatient wards, ensuring additional support for patients at high risk of falls."

The case highlighted what was described by a group of NHS employee bodies last week as "chronic" staff shortage in the health service.

In an open letter published Wednesday (April 21) urging the government to act, representatives from the NHS Confederation, NHS Providers, the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges, and Unison demanded action from the Conservative government on staffing levels in the NHS and said that if they were not fixed, more staff could leave and thus exacerbate the issue further.

Chris Hopson, Chief Executive of NHS Providers said: "We must see a fully costed and funded national workforce plan, so we stop asking NHS frontline staff to bear an unsustainable workload shift after shift, week after week."

His words echoed those of George's daughter Sharon, who said the nurses working on the ward where George fell had been put in an "impossible" situation due to staffing shortages.

"The nurses were put in an impossible situation as they had no choice but to leave my dad unsupervised," she said.

"They should never have been put in this situation if the staffing levels had been correct.

"We are pleased that the hospital has acknowledged the need for higher staffing levels and for there to be at least one permanent member of staff on duty at all times on the ward. They must now stick to this to ensure nobody else unnecessarily loses their life."

Nicholas Leahy, a specialist medical negligence lawyer from Osbornes Law, for his part added that he was pleased steps had been taken in response to the case and urged the Trust "to ensure this never happens again".