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Reassurances Needed Over Standards After Whipps Cross Neglect Sentencing

Two Healthcare Assistants Jailed And Another Handed Suspended Sentence


By Rob Dixon

Medical negligence lawyers have called for urgent lessons to be learned after two healthcare assistants were jailed and another given a suspended sentence related to neglect and abuse of patients on the geriatric ward at Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone.

Akousa Sakyiwaa, 38, and Sharmila Gunda, 36, were convicted of charges related to neglect and assault of patients on the hospital’s Beech Ward between February and April last year, while Annette Jackson’s sentence was suspended for two months and she was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

The charges followed a Metropolitan Police inquiry into the hospital after a student nurse acted as a whistleblower related to the issues on the ward, where the women were responsible for caring for elderly female patients with various physical and mental conditions.

News of the sentencing came days after the Care Quality Commission issued formal warnings to Barts Health NHS Trust regarding standards at Whipps Cross, with concerns being raised about issues including cleanliness and infection control.

Ian Christian, a Partner who specialises in providing support to victims and families whose loved ones have been affected by medical negligence, said: “The revelations regarding the problems on the Beech Ward are shocking and will have raised significant concerns not just with the loved ones affected, but also the wider community.

“Sadly, we have seen on numerous occasions in the past the hugely devastating impact that neglect and abuse have on so many lives. It is now vital that lessons are learned from the terrible mistakes of the past to ensure a better future lies ahead.

“It is vital that the NHS trust works hard to provide reassurances over standards and ensure that the widely publicised issues of recent weeks are not repeated in the future.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Elder Abuse claims