Basildon University Hospital fined over bed bars death

Image caption,
Kyle Flack became trapped in the bars around his bed

A hospital in Essex has been fined £50,000 for health and safety breaches which were a "significant cause" of the death of a severely disabled patient.

Kyle Flack, 20, a quadriplegic who had cerebral palsy, died in 2006 after getting his head trapped in bed bars.

Basildon University Hospital acknowledged that he died following failures in "systems and procedures", Basildon Crown Court heard.

The hospital was also ordered to pay £40,000 costs.

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following Mr Flack's death and admitted breaching health and safety law by failing to ensure patients were not exposed to risk.

Prosecutor Pascal Bates said the hospital had failed to properly supervise Mr Flack, properly pass on information, train staff, assess risk and had not heeded warnings.

"(The trust) accepts that its offending was a significant cause of this death," Mr Bates told the judge.

"Management failed to lay down correct procedures."

He said the offences amounted to a "serious" breach of duty and the hospital had fallen "markedly short" of the required standard.

Earlier this year, Mr Flack's mother Gill called for hospital bosses to be "held accountable".

Mrs Flack, of Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, said Basildon University Hospital had been the "worst place" for her son.

Maggie Rogers, director of nursing at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We have taken action that includes improving the management of equipment and the care of our patients with special needs."

Six months ago a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found poor hygiene and care standards at the hospital.

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