A judge sitting at Stafford Crown Court said the death of Gillian Astbury, who was not given insulin despite being diabetic, had been caused by an "effectively broken" system for hand-overs between staff and poor record-keeping.
Passing sentence on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, High Court judge Mr Justice Haddon-Cave described the 66-year-old's death as tragic and wholly avoidable.
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A final decision by the National Security Council of senior ministers is widely expected next week.
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