Hospital Fined £200k Over Faulty Window Which Led To Patient’s Death

December 1, 2016 | by | 0 Comments
Royal United Hospital in Bath

Royal United Hospital in Bath

A hospital has been fined £200,000 after a patient plunged to his death through a faulty window.

Mark Scott-Green, 48, managed to force his way through the opening, despite it being restricted by a locked catch.

The Royal United Hospital in Bath, Somerset, admitted it had not finished putting in place a system for maintaining its window restrictors at the time.

The hospital trust pleaded guilty in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive over the death in November 2012.

They had been accused of not doing enough to prevent patients and visitors falling from windows.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Mr Scott-Green was an alcoholic who was well-known to hospital staff.

He had used ‘excessive and determined force’ to squeeze through the small gap because neither the catch or the glass was broken.

High Court Judge Sir John Royce said the offence “was not a significant cause of actual harm”.

The trust pleaded guilty and was fined £200,000 with a victim surcharge of £120, and ordered to pay tens of thousands of pounds costs.swns_ruh_window_04James Scott, chief executive of the RUH, said: “We would like to provide assurance that we take the health and safety of our patients and staff extremely seriously and we have made significant investment and improvements to our buildings since 2012.

“Our overriding priority is the provision of safe, high quality care.

“We fully accept that, although the window through which Mr Scott-Green was able to pass, in 2012, was fitted with a window restrictor compliant with British Standards, we had not fully implemented a planned preventative maintenance system for window restrictors at the time.

“This is reflected by the trust pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity to a contravention of Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

“The HSE undertook an investigation following the incident four years ago. The trust has been transparent throughout this investigation and fully co-operated at every stage.

“We immediately undertook the improvements identified by the trust’s internal investigation and those identified by the HSE.

“At the time we shared the findings with the family and offered our full apologies.

“This sad case has been distressing for all those involved and our thoughts and sympathies remain with the family.”

An inquest concluded that Mr Scott-Green’s death was the result of an accident and the coroner was satisfied the hospital did not need to take any further action.

Category: News

Add your comment

Libellous and abusive comments are not allowed. Please read our House Rules

For information about privacy and cookies please read our Privacy Policy