Shropshire NHS Trust Fined Following Patient Fall Death

Pensioner Died Weeks After Incident

30.11.2010

Lessons must be learnt after an NHS Trust was fined £50,000 following an incident in which an 89-year-old man fell out of a bed with only one rail fitted, a clinical negligence expert at Irwin Mitchell has claimed.

Francis Steele of Dilton Priors, near Bridgnorth, died a fortnight after he fell from a bed at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford in November 2007.

An investigation revealed that hospital staff failed to provide the patient with a second bed rail in order to prevent any potential falls. It was also revealed that those on duty did not know how to locate the items due to the lack of a system of storage.

As well as being fined, Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust was ordered to pay costs of £8,476 in relation to the incident.

Commenting on the case, Lisa Jordan of Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham-based Medical Law and Patient Rights team said: “It is deeply concerning that a vulnerable patient did not receive the support he needed from staff at the Princess Royal Hospital in this case.

“The families of such patients need to know that  their loved ones are being cared for in a proper and serious manner.

“This is an error which could have been avoided through the use of the right systems, I hope that lessons have been learnt by the Trust and that the safety of patients will not be called into question again.”