The Herald

NHS trust fined £1.3m over safety failings linked to deaths of two patients


AN NHS trust has been fined £1,333,334 after failing to provide safe care to a pensioner and a dialysis patient at one of its hospitals.

Passing sentence on the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring said the families of two patients who died at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in 2019 and 2020 had suffered “unimaginab­le grief”.

The judge imposed a fine of £800,000 on one of two charges relating to the death of 31-year-old Mohammed Ismael Zaman, and an additional £533,334 over a charge brought in relation to the death of Max Dingle, 83.

The judge said the offences were aggravated by a fine the trust received in 2016 and a “poor health and safety record in the management of” Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

The trust, which was recently the subject of a highly critical report into the maternity services it offered between 2000 and 2019, admitted the charges through its barrister at Telford Magistrate­s’ Court yesterday.

The court heard Mr Zaman died after suffering severe blood loss while undergoing dialysis in 2019.

Another charge was brought against the trust by the Care Quality Commission over the death of Mr Dingle, who died in May 2020 after his head became trapped between a bed rail and a mattress.

The trust’s barrister Iain Daniels described the deaths as “two tragedies” and offered the trust’s sincere sympathies to the men’s families.

Mr Daniels said the trust acknowledg­ed that training had been inadequate.

He told the court: “We suggest the trust has shown considerab­le insight into what has gone wrong in these accidents. It is accepted that more could have been done and of course should have been done to eliminate risks.”

The trust, which costs £1.3 million a day to operate, is suffering significan­t financial pressures and has around 600 vacant staff positions.

An independen­t review of maternity services, chaired by Donna Ockenden and published in March, found “repeated errors in care” at the trust, which led to injury to either mothers or their babies. Some 201 babies could have – or would have – survived if the trust had provided better care, the report said.

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