Patient safety

05.03.19

Trust prosecuted by CQC for safe care failings in death of 19-year-old

The CQC is prosecuting an NHS trust over the death of a patient after it failed to fulfil its duties imposed by regulations brought in following the Mid Staffordshire scandal.

Sussex Partnership NHS FT has been summoned to attend Brighton Magistrates Court to enter a plea in a case involving a 19-year-old man who was found dead from hanging in his cell in the Healthcare Unit of HM Prison Lewes, East Sussex.

On 12 February 2016 at the HMP Lewes Prison Healthcare Department, the trust “failed to discharge a duty imposed on it by Regulation 12 (1), in that it failed to provide safe care and treatment resulting in avoidable harm, or a significant risk of exposure to avoidable harm to a service user.”

It is a first appearance, so the CQC expects the court to adjourn until a later date.

The CQC also used its powers to prosecute a trust for failing to provide safe care once before, when the Southern Health FT was fined £125,000 and told pay £36,000 in costs.

This followed a patient sustaining serious injures falling from a roof, and the CQC said then that the trust had taken “no effective action” to prevent patients accessing the roof, despite previous safety incidents.

The first criminal prosecution of Mid Staffordshire MHS FT was announced in 2013 for the death of a patient; and the Francis review of the trust revealed that failings of care could have caused hundreds of deaths. A major restructuring was recommended.

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