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Health trusts fined over girl’s death

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Two health trusts have been issued large fines after a disabled girl fell from her faulty bed and died in 2011. 10-year-old Jade Norton, who was severely disabled with Rett syndrome, died when she fell from her bed after suffering a seizure – caused by plastic sheets that fell on top of her – in June 2011. The bed railings were meant to prevent her falling out of her bed, but the railings were damaged and did not secure her. North Lancashire Primary Care and Blackpool Primary Healthcare both admitted health and safety breaches.

“blatantly not safe”

It was heard at Preston Crown Court that Jade’s family had requested her faulty bed to be repaired on five separate occasions, but nothing was done. Lisa Roberts from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said that she was sleeping in a bed that was “blatantly not safe” considering her condition. It was heard that Jade suffered an epileptic seizure after becoming trapped between her mattress and sheeting, which caused her to roll to the floor. The railings on her bed had been damaged a few months prior to her death.

It was heard at Preston Crown Court that no risk assessments were carried out by the trust, and they failed to take any action despite the number of complaints made by Jade’s family. The trusts were fined a total of £60,000 over the death, with Bernard Thorogood, for NHS Litigation Services, saying that he was deeply sorry for what happened and was “touched by the terrible events”.

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