Lincolnshire NHS Foundation Trust has been fined after a vulnerable mental health patient jumped off the roof of Boston Pilgrim Hospital.
The 26-year-old man was left paralysed and in need of 24-hour nursing care after the incident, while the hospital was ordered to pay £26,000 in fines and costs.
Boston Magistrates’ Court heard that the man in question, who is detained under the Mental Health Act, was twice escorted out into the quad of hospital ward 12 to smoke a cigarette.
On both occasions the man, who has a history of self harm, was able to climb onto the roof of the building using a wall and the smoking shelter.
He was talked down and the hospital failed to take any action, apart from removing his smoking privileges until the next day.
Neck and brain injury
On the day of the incident, the man was escorted out by two employees of the hospital, despite the previous incidents.
He then made a run for the roof, where he finished his cigarette before throwing himself off the single-storey building.
He suffered a broken neck and a bleed on the brain which left him paralysed from the waist down and in need of constant nursing care.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the Lincolnshire trust was aware that mentally ill patients regularly made it onto the quad roof over a five-year period, but did nothing to reduce the risk of harm.
No relevant risk assessments were conducted and details of incidents were not conveyed to the trust’s health and safety team.
As a result the trust admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,864.
Medical injury claims
If you or a family member have been the victim of any injury resulting from medical negligence such as this, you may be eligible for compensation.
As in this case, this can include compensation for ongoing problems such as the loss of any physical ability and future pain and discomfort.
For a free no-obligation claim assessment, call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone or take 30 seconds to try our ten click compensation calculator.
Date Published: October 7, 2014
Author: David Brown