Ashtons obtain £10,000 following an Inquest into death of a patient

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Ali Masterson, Trainee Legal Executive with the Medical Negligence Team, has obtained a settlement of £10,000 for the family of BB following his death whilst under the care of the Oxleas NHS Trust in January 2021.

Ashtons Legal were instructed by the family of BB regarding a civil claim and inquest representation following the death of BB in January 2021. The two day inquest took place in March 2024 where the Coroner heard evidence regarding BB’s care by Scadbury Ward, Green Parks House, from his admission in December 2020 through to his death by taking his own life on 29 January 2021.

The family raised questions regarding the risk assessment process on the Unit regarding ligatures, failure to recognise increased risk to life following suicidal thoughts and a Covid diagnosis and subsequent monitoring and care. The Coroner identified that there was a ligature management policy of which staff were aware but which did not expressly identify the risk that ligatures could be constructed from smaller items. There had been a failure to conduct a risk assessment in respect of a gift bag which had been provided to BB by the Ward as a Christmas gift and whether it could be used to make a ligature; had such a risk assessment been conducted then the bag would have been identified as a potential ligature risk. The Coroner recorded that the cause of death was ligature strangulation and Covid-19 Infection.

Following the conclusion of the Inquest, the formal civil claim against the Trust was settled in the sum of £10,000.

Ms Masterson says, “The family were keen to have their questions regarding their father’s care investigated and answered. We were able to assist with support at the two day Inquest to establish answers to those questions and then swiftly settle the civil claim soon after. Following the Trust investigation after BB’s death, they revised their Trust ligature policy to minimise any future risk of a similar occurrence. Whilst no financial award can ever replace BB in their lives, the settlement will ensure that there is support for them going forward which provides a little comfort.

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