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HSE hospital investigation

The Health and Safety Executive said a criminal investigation has begun into the death of diabetic Gillian Astbury at Stafford Hospital in 2007.

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Health and Safety Executive: 'formal investigation' underway

An Health and Safety (HSE) spokesman says their inspectors have formally started an investigation.

'Following legal advice, HSE deferred a decision to pursue the investigation into Gillian Astbury's death until the conclusion of the public inquiry, chaired by Robert Francis QC, into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust'.

– HSE spokesman

'We can now confirm that our inspectors have today formally started an investigation.

"Our focus will be on establishing whether there is evidence of the employer (the Trust) or individuals failing to comply with their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act'.

– HSE spokesman

The report by Robert Francis QC highlighted 'appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people' at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009.

As many as 1,200 patients are thought to have died needlessly after they were 'routinely neglected' at Stafford Hospital.

Many were left lying in their own urine and excrement for days. Some were forced to drink water from vases or given the wrong medication.

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