Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust Fined £1.3m After Two Avoidable Patient Deaths

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust (SaTH) have been fined over one million pounds after admitting failures in medical care that contributed to the deaths of two patients.

SaTH were prosecuted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. Appearing before Telford Magistrates, SaTH admitted three charges of failing to provide treatment and care in a safe way, resulting in harm.

In the first case, Mohammed Zaman, 31, died of severe blood loss while undergoing dialysis at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in 2019. A catheter came out of his jugular vein which set off an alarm. However, he was not checked before staff switched it off, and by the time staff had noticed what had happened, he had lost half of his supply of blood. SaTH admitted failings and were fined £800,000.00.

In the second case, Max Dingle, 83, was placed on a larger bariatric bed which staff were not trained on how to use correctly. He suffered a cardiac arrest after his head became trapped between a mattress and the bed rail, and sadly could not be resuscitated. 

Prosecuting, the CQC said both patients and their families had been "severely let down" by SaTH. "People using health and social care services have the right to safe care and treatment, so it's unacceptable that patient safety was not well managed by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust," Fiona Allinson, from Watchdog, said.

Following the hearing, SaTH issued a statement in which its director of nursing Hayley Flavell said: "We are truly sorry for the pain and distress caused as a result of the failures in the provision of care. We offer our sincere apologies and heartfelt condolences to the families we let down".

Sadly, this is not the first time SaTH have caused or contributed to avoidable deaths. In March, a damning review into the maternity services at SaTH was released by Donna Ockenden which found "repeated errors in care" at the Trust contributed to the deaths of 201 babies between 2000-2019.

West Mercia Police are presently carrying out Operation Lincoln - an investigation into the care of mothers and babies who died or suffered serious harm under maternity services at SaTH between 1 October 2003 and the present day.

Lanyon Bowdler are assisting a large number of families who are part of Operation Lincoln and the Donna Ockenden review, therefore if you require any assistance or if you need advice, please contact us.