Search

Fine against mental health trust upheld by Court of Appeal after 78-year-old patient drowned in hospital bath

PUBLISHED: 11:23 14 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:23 14 July 2017

The Julian Hospital, Norwich; For : Evening News/EDP; Copy : Katie Cooper/Shaun Lowthorpe; Photo : Steve Adams; Copyright Archant Norfolk

The Julian Hospital, Norwich; For : Evening News/EDP; Copy : Katie Cooper/Shaun Lowthorpe; Photo : Steve Adams; Copyright Archant Norfolk

Archant

A bid by the region’s mental health trust to reduce the amount they were fined after a dementia patient drowned has failed at the Court of Appeal.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) admitted breaching health and safety regulations last November, after 78-year-old Joan Darnell died.

Mrs Darnell, who had dementia and bipolar disorder, had been taken from her home in Field Grange, Lowestoft, to the Julian Hospital in Bowthorpe Road, Norwich, in October 2014.

She was on the Blickling ward with 15 other elderly patients with memory problems, when despite being kept under hourly observation by staff, she was able to go into an unlocked bathroom and run a bath and drown, Norwich Crown Court heard last year.

She was found lying face down in the bath.

MORE: Norfolk and Suffolk NHS trust fined £366k after 78-year-old patient drowned in hospital bath



Judge Stephen Holt, at Norwich Crown Court, fined the trust £366,000, although the fine was reduced as the court heard that it would have to come out of the under-pressure NHS budget. The trust initially agreed to pay the fine by March this year.

However yesterday, Thursday, at the Court of Appeal, in London, lawyers for the trust said the fine should be reduced.

MORE: Woman who drowned in Norwich hospital bath died accidentally, inquest concludes



This was dismissed by Ms Justice Russell, sitting for Lord Justice Treacy and Judge Deborah Taylor QC, who upheld the fine.

After the initial case in Norwich, NSFT chief executive Michael Scott said: “Following Mrs Darnell’s death we took immediate action to upgrade the locks on bathrooms so they can only be entered into with a key from the outside.”

MORE: Mental health patient ran bath and drowned in Norwich hospital, inquest told



He said that they also reviewed and clarified the trusts observation policy so staff know what procedures to take when a patient is absent.

“We have also enabled all clinical staff to more effectively evaluate any risk, embedding the enhanced DICES risk assessment training model across the trust.”

He added: “We have met with Mrs Darnell’s family to express our sincere condolences We have also shared our recommendations from our investigation with the family and assured them that all actions have been implemented.”

Other news

16:35

Phone users could be streaming video and using their favourite apps in even the worst 4G ‘not-spots’ in Norfolk and Suffolk in 18 months time, according to Vodafone.

15:26

After months of not striking on the hour, the clock in Fakenham’s Parish Church is being taken away to be restored to full working order.

A heating and plumbing firm has closed with the loss of six jobs after struggling to obtain work amid tough times for the construction sector.

14:46

As the advent countdown approaches, shops across Norwich are preparing to extend their opening hours ready for some of the busiest times of the year.

Most Read

16:35

Phone users could be streaming video and using their favourite apps in even the worst 4G ‘not-spots’ in Norfolk and Suffolk in 18 months time, according to Vodafone.

Read more
15:26

After months of not striking on the hour, the clock in Fakenham’s Parish Church is being taken away to be restored to full working order.

Read more

A heating and plumbing firm has closed with the loss of six jobs after struggling to obtain work amid tough times for the construction sector.

Read more
London
14:46

As the advent countdown approaches, shops across Norwich are preparing to extend their opening hours ready for some of the busiest times of the year.

Read more
08:39

Norfolk mother Kyra Welch, writes about her experiences with her terminally ill four-year-old son Kaiden Griffin.

Read more

Most Commented

16:35

Phone users could be streaming video and using their favourite apps in even the worst 4G ‘not-spots’ in Norfolk and Suffolk in 18 months time, according to Vodafone.

Read more
15:26

After months of not striking on the hour, the clock in Fakenham’s Parish Church is being taken away to be restored to full working order.

Read more

A heating and plumbing firm has closed with the loss of six jobs after struggling to obtain work amid tough times for the construction sector.

Read more
London
14:46

As the advent countdown approaches, shops across Norwich are preparing to extend their opening hours ready for some of the busiest times of the year.

Read more
08:39

Norfolk mother Kyra Welch, writes about her experiences with her terminally ill four-year-old son Kaiden Griffin.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 5°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Dereham Times e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter