This week Mid Staffordshire Trust has been fined £500,000 over the deaths of four elderly patients and an independent report has called for a fresh inquest into the death of a three-year-old boy.
Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was ordered to pay more than £35,000 in costs for the four charges brought against them by the health and safety executive.
The Trust, which no longer provides clinical services, was told by judge Mr Justice Haddon-Cave that systemic failures at the hospital had “become the norm” during 2005 and 2014.
A hearing heard that due to inadequate processes being in place to protect patients, caused the deaths of Lillian Tucker, 77, Ivy Bunn, 90, and Patrick Daly, 89. The forth patient, Edith Bourne, 83, died after a fall but evidence could not link her death to mistakes in her care.
As the Trust has no funds, the Department of Health must settle the fine on its behalf.
In addition to this judgment, an independent report has called for a new inquest into the death of Jonnie Meek.
The report looked into accusations that the Hospital attempted to cover up its failings by forging staff statements.
Jonnie was being fed via his stomach when he died. His parents said that he suffered an allergic reaction to a certain type of milk that had made him ill on previous occasions.
The Trust, post-mortem and coroner’s inquest all found instead that it was pneumonia that was the cause of death.
However Dr Marin Farrier, a paediatrician, carried out the independent review and said that the parents’ explanation was the most likely.
Jonnie died just two hours after being admitted to Hospital to trial a feed directly into his stomach, which he had previously had bad reactions to.
Following his death, his parents complained and found that statements from health workers involved in his treatment had been falsified, including changing his medical history to suggest he was sicker than he had been when admitted.
Dr Farrier, an associate medical director of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust, told the Telegraph: “I consider that problems of a closed culture within the NHS continue to exist. Expectation of blame leads to defensive behaviors.”
Jonnie’s father John Meek told the Telegraph that: “It’s the outcome that we needed, to get to the real truth. This could have all been settled 12 months ago but now we can hope something good will come out of this.”
Are you waiting for answers to an investigation? Do you have a complaint that hasn’t been dealt with probably, or maybe you would like to know how to investigate the death of a loved one? Do you have concerns about care at Mid Staffs? At Pryers we have a team of specialist medical negligence solicitors ready to help you get the answers you deserve.