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NHS fined for dementia patient’s death

NHS fined for dementia patient’s death

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust has been fined following the death of an 87-year-old man with dementia.

In April 2008 the man was being bathed at the Frank Lloyd Unit, Sittingbourne, when he slipped from a hoist and fell, sustaining injuries, and died the next day, said the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in a media release.

The HSE investigated the incident and reportedly found “poor communication between the nursing staff and the agency care workers”.

It added: “… the care plan was not clear and, in any case, was not shared with the agency carers.

“There was no consideration of the risk of using a bathroom in another ward which precluded any active supervision of the agency carers.”

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, of Farm Villa, Hermitage Lane, Maidstone, was prosecuted and pleaded guilty for breaching section 3(1) of the UK Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £107,000 and ordered to pay £25,000 in costs.

“This case has shown that it’s not enough to have well-intentioned management procedures if these are not followed through at ward level,” said HSE inspector Jan Combs said in a media statement. “There must be a robust mechanism to communicate care needs to all staff including temporary agency staff. Clear communication is an essential part of good management.”

For more details, visit the HSE

Published on 28 January 2016 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today

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