Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has been fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of over £35,000 after the deaths of 4 patients were found to be a result of careless and unnecessary failings.
The Health and Safety Executive investigated the deaths of 4 patients at the Cannock and Stafford Hospitals that the Trust managed. Three of the patients’ deaths were attributed to falls from which they did not recover, while the fourth patient died from anaphylactic shock after having been administered with penicillin, even though she had previously made it clear to the hospital on several occasions that she was allergic to the substance.
When the HSE investigated the incidents they found that they were mainly due to systematic failure within management systems. Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in relation to all four of the deaths. Speaking after the hearing HSE Principal Inspector Wayne Owen said: “The deaths of Jean, Ivy, Joy and Patrick were preventable. Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust failed them and their loved ones. The Trust failed to follow a number of its own policies in relation to handing over information, completing records, carrying out falls risk assessments and the monitoring of care plans. These systems were not robust enough to ensure they were followed consistently and correctly. It is in the public interest that any hospital Trust is held accountable for serious breaches of the law resulting in death or life-changing harm. We expect lessons to be learned across the NHS to prevent tragedies like the losses of these four lives from happening again.”
The families of the four victims also provided a statement in which they criticised the hospitals: “We all expected our loved ones to return home from Stafford Hospital having had the correct care and treatment and their lives should not have ended when they did. It has been a harrowing experience to know that they died in an unhappy and undeserved manner. Some basic rules had not been adhered to and the level of care was simply not good enough.”
If you or someone you care for has been injured, hurt or even killed as a result of failings on the part of a hospital or any other medical centre, you could well be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Our solicitors are on hand now, at no cost, to discuss your case and see how we can help you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today and let us help you.