Mid Staffs fined £500,000 for failings that led to patient deaths

The now-defunct Mid Staffs NHS Trust has been fined half a million pounds for failures which led to the deaths of four patients.

The charges brought by the Health and Safety Executive related to the "needless" deaths at Stafford Hospital between October 2005 and May 2014.

The court was told were a result of the Trust's inadequate measures to protect patients at Stafford Hospital - now named County Hospital.

Families of the four patients leaving Stafford Crown Court after the ruling. Credit: ITV News

The four patients in question were:

  • Lillian Tucker, 77, who died on 21 October 2005 after being injected with penicillin despite her and her relatives' repeated warnings that she was allergic to the medicine

  • Ivy Bunn, 90, who died on 6 November 2008 after suffering three falls in four days following poor care

  • Edith "Joy" Bourne, 83, died on 22 July 2013 after suffering head injuries following a series of falls - though tests could not conclusive prove her death was linked to poor care

  • Patrick Daly, 89, died on 13 May 2014 having suffered a fractured skull following a fall. He had been admitted into the hospital for low blood sugar

Mr Daly's death in May 2014 came a fortnight after the trust was fined £200,000 for similar failings at the same court.

The Health and Safety Executive said all four patients' deaths were "preventable" and aid the trust "failed them and their loved ones".

In a statement on behalf of the families, a spokesman said the conclusion of the case "goes some way to bringing the closure that they all need".

Sentencing at Stafford Crown Court, High Court judge Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said widespread systemic failures within the trust had "become the norm" at the time of the deaths.

The trust was also ordered to pay £35,000 in costs after admitting the breaches of health and safety standards.

However, judge Justice Haddon-Cave likened the fines to a "financial revolving door", as the trust has no funds - meaning the Department of Health will cover the bill.

Mid Staffs was embroiled in one of the biggest scandals in the history of the NHS when it emerged that thousands of patients had died unnecessarily at the former Stafford Hospital.

There has been no criminal prosecution of any individual involved in the Mid Staffs scandal.