NHS Trust fined over in-patient’s death

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been fined after a patient fell to his death.

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been fined after a patient fell to his death. The 20-year-old male was detained as an in-patient at Epsom Hospital in May 2014. He was in the hospital courtyard with his mother and being observed by a nurse, when he started to climb onto the conservatory roof.

The nurse immediately ran into the courtyard but could not stop him climbing over the roof. He then climbed up a 130-ft chimney before falling and sustaining fatal injuries.

A HSE investigation found a series of failures including insufficient communication between employees and inadequate systems to ensure the risks identified were addressed and remedied.

The case highlights the need for suitable assessments and making appropriate changes following previous incidents.

At Guildford Crown Court, the Trust was found guilty of a breach of Section 3(1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,769.

More information on this case can be found at hse.gov.uk.

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