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5th January 2017

Health trust fined after safety failings led to dementia patient’s death

A health authority in England has been fined by the Health & Safety Executive after the death of a patient on a specialist dementia ward.

The fine, which has been highlighted for members by Care Forum Wales' health and safety expert Anthony Acari, follows an investigation from HSE which found that the trust did not have sufficient policies or procedures in place for managing the safety of patients.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust was fined £366,000 in November after the death of Mrs Joan Darnell, 78, who had been admitted as a patient to the Julian Hospital on 28 September 2014 on the Blicking Ward, a specialist ward for patients suffering with dementia. On the October 16 Mrs Darnell was reported missing and was found face-down in a bath full of water in one of the bathrooms on the ward.

The HSE investigation found that the trust had failed to complete an appropriate risk assessment for the patient and hadn't taken steps to prevent vulnerable patients having unsupervised access to bathrooms. At the time of the incident, the trust did not have adequate systems and arrangements in place to ensure that patients under their care on the ward were effectively monitored, the report stated.

Read the full story on the Eastern Daily Press website.

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