Pilgrim Hospital impaled patient death: NHS fined £1m

Pilgrim hospital, Boston Image copyright Google
Image caption John Biggadike was being lifted during physiotherapy when he fell

A hospital has been fined £1m over the death of a patient who was impaled through his rectum on a metal physiotherapy hoist.

John Biggadike, 53, from Spalding, Lincolnshire, was being lifted at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston in 2012 when he fell on the equipment.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust was also ordered to pay £160,000 costs.

Trust bosses were "disappointed by the outcome and the settlement to the treasury but fully accept the verdict".

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Mr Biggadike was receiving physiotherapy at the hospital ahead of being discharged.

He fell on to the pole as he was being helped by two members of staff and his rectum was penetrated, causing "catastrophic internal injuries".

Staff had removed a knee support pad from the equipment that should have remained in place.

The trust was found guilty of breaching safety laws at a trial at Lincoln Crown Court in May.

It was also ordered to pay £3,800 compensation to Mr Biggadike's brother Keith to cover the costs of the funeral.

Reduced fine

Karen Brown, director of finance at the trust said: "We felt that it was important to defend this case, not least because of the history of two other similar incidents involving this piece of equipment which we had not been aware of at the time of Mr Biggadike's tragic death."

Judge Michael Heath ordered the fine should be paid at £250,000 a year due to the trust's financial position and said it had been significantly reduced to reflect this.

"I have been very much aware that every pound that I impose by way of a fine is a pound less that can be spent on patient care", the judge said.

Michael Spencer QC, in mitigation, said the trust has since taken steps to rectify the issues that arose from the death.

The trust had an overall deficit of £127m at 31 March, he said.

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