£200,000 fine for Trust when prisoner died on their watch

Check your facilities now – the Care Quality Commission could take you to court if you don’t!

The health care provider at Lewes prison is being made to pay a £200,000 fine following a prosecution brought by the CQC. 

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, was sentenced by Magistrates, following the death of a 19 year old prisoner who took his own life by hanging himself with a bed sheet he attached to a tap in his cell.

The Trust pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care and treatment leading to avoidable harm, contrary to regulation 12(1) and 22(2)(a) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. This is only the second prosecution of its kind brought by the CQC.

The court was told the Trust was well aware that Jamie Osborne was a known suicide risk. It had failed to properly document this risk and make sure staff knew how to manage it. The Trust was also aware of the potential ligature point in Jamie’s cell.

The guilty plea confirms the Trust knew staff had not taken all reasonable steps nor exercised all due diligence, to mitigate that risk.

In addition to the £200,000, the Trust has also got to stump up prosecution costs of £25,000 and a £170 victim surcharge.

The Trust says it is truly sorry for the “clear failings” that were found during the investigation into Jamie’s death.

The CQC confirm they hope this prosecution “sends a clear message that people in prison have the same right to high quality mental healthcare as any other member of our society”.

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