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Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust fined after safety failings led to dementia patient’s death

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has been fined £366,000 following the death of a patient on a specialist dementia ward.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has been fined £366,000 following the death of a patient on a specialist dementia ward.

Mrs Joan Darnell, age 78, who had been admitted as a patient to the Julian Hospital in September 2014, was reported missing on 16 October 2014. She was found face-down in a bath full of water in one of the bathrooms on the Blicking ward.

At Norwich Crown Court, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and were fined £366,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,888.48.

A HSE investigation found that the Trust did not have sufficient policies or procedures in place for managing the safety of patients. The Trust had not completed an appropriate risk assessment for Mrs Darnell and had failed to take adequate supervision steps to ensure vulnerable patients safety when using the bathrooms.

You can find out more about this case on the HSE website.