Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust fined £1.3m after deaths of two patients

Charlotte Cross reports on the trust forced to pay nearly £1.5m

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been fined £1,333,334 and ordered to pay £42,378.51 in costs after pleading guilty to failures in care, which resulted in the deaths of two patients.

The trust's barrister admitted three offences of failing to provide care and treatments in a safe way, resulting in harm or loss, at Telford Magistrates' Court this morning.

They relate to the deaths of Max Dingle in May 2020, and Mohammed Ismael Zaman in October 2019.

Max Dingle

Credit: ITV News Central

Mr Dingle who was in his 80s was admitted to hospital in April 2020 with shortness of breath and a high temperature linked to chronic lung disease. He was assessed as requiring a specialist bariatric bed, where his head became trapped between a rail and a mattress.

The alarm was immediately raised when Mr Dingle was found, the court heard, and he was freed, but he died from a cardiac arrest.

Phil Dingle, Mr Dingle's son, said,

“It is sad to lose a father at any stage in life, but more so in such tragic and preventable circumstances. I thank Fiona Allison from the CQC for progressing the case to a prosecution, and also the hospital team who cared for my father in the last 15 minutes of his life when he was prevented from resuscitation due to a procedural issue with his case notes."

Mohammed Ismael Zaman (known as Bolly)

Mr Zaman, 31, went to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to receive dialysis on 18 October 2019.

He was found by staff bleeding heavily from a disconnected line, resuscitation was attempted but was unsuccessful, and he died.

The Care Quality Commission said in a statement before today's court appearance: "CQC brought the prosecution following two separate incidents, each resulting in the death of a patient, after they were allegedly exposed to the risk of avoidable harm at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital."

The hospital trust said today in a statement,

“Following today’s court proceedings, where the Trust accepted full responsibility and pleaded guilty to the three charges brought against us, we offer our sincere apologies and heartfelt condolences to the families we let down. 

“We are truly sorry for the pain and distress caused as a result of the failures in the provision of care.”

“A series of immediate actions were implemented following internal investigations and external review to ensure that steps were taken to address the failings, which has been recognised in the judgement today.

“On behalf of the Trust, I want to stress again how sorry we are for the pain and distress caused to the families and we commit to continue to improve the quality of care we provide.”

An independent review of maternity services in Shrewsbury and Telford, chaired by former midwife Donna Ockenden and published in March, found "repeated errors in care" at the same trust, which led to injury to either mothers or their babies.

Some 201 babies could have – or would have – survived if the trust had provided better care, the report said.