NHS trust pleads guilty to clinical negligence

  • Posted

Posted 01/03/2010

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has criticised an NHS trust after it pleaded guilty to neglect which led to a man’s death.

Kyle Flack, 20, had cerebral palsy and was severely disabled. He was admitted to Basildon Hospital in October 2006 after developing stomach problems and had been put onto a ward for treatment.

However, just two days after being taken into hospital, he choked to death after getting his head stuck between the railings of his bed.

An HSE investigation found that staff were not properly trained on using bumpers on the beds and had not provided Mr Flack with the one-to-one care that he should have had due to his disabilities.

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has pleaded guilty to failings under the Health and Safety at Work Act and could now face unlimited fines.

This comes after a report by NHS analyst Dr Foster Intelligence last November found that the trust continues to have the highest death rates in the country, despite previous warnings over safety and patient care.

Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, who heads the Clinical Negligence team at Ashtons Legal, commented: “This is obviously very sad and necessary steps were not taken to protect a particularly vulnerable patient.

“It highlights the need for basic training on equipment and patient safety at this particular trust. Perhaps such a poor track record should mean mandatory special measures rather like those adopted for failing schools, as fines may not deal with deep-seated systemic and cultural problems.”


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