NHS board fined £235,000 after dad-of-four's death in hospital

The 36-year-old man had been admitted to Dykebar Hospital in Paisley two days before he died.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde fined £235k after dad-of-four’s death at Dykebar Hospital iStock

A Scottish health board has been fined £235,000 after a father-of-four took his own life while in its care. 

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde pled guilty to a breach of health and safety regulations committed between January 1, 2020, and March 23, 2020.

The Procurator Fiscal depute told Paisley Sheriff Court that the 36-year-old dad had been admitted to the South Ward at Dykebar Hospital two days before taking his own life on January 22, 2020. 

The investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that some of the fixtures and fittings on the ward were not of an anti-ligature design. 

They also found failures by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to ensure that the existing ligature points at Dykebar Hospital were suitably and sufficiently risk assessed. 

Following the death, remedial work was started but the failings continued until March 23, 2020. The health board managed the existing ligature risks by placing at patients on “enhanced” observations by nursing staff. 

Following sentencing, Debbie Carroll from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde had a duty to keep their patient safe. Had they implemented all reasonably practicable measures they could have prevented him from taking his own life in the way he did. 

“Their failure to ensure that ligature points within the hospital were suitably and sufficiently risk-assessed and that patients were not exposed to those ligature points led to the death of a man in their care. 

“This prosecution should remind duty holders that a failure to manage and implement effective measures can have fatal consequences and they will be held accountable for this failure.” 

In a statement, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “We would once again offer our sincere sympathy to this patient’s family and friends for their loss.

“NHSGGC has identified and commenced a programme of work to remove ligature points.

“Completion of this work was impacted by Covid and by the demands on services however it continues and, working within the context of current operational service demands, is being managed to completion.”

Help and support is available now if you need it. The Samaritans can be contacted any time, from any phone, free on 116 123, email at jo@samaritans.org, or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch. Details of other services and more information can be found on the NHS website here. 

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