Healthcare company fined £500k after patient fatally injured

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A healthcare company has been fined after a vulnerable patient suffered fatal injuries during a minibus journey.

Nottingham Crown Court heard how a vulnerable patient was fatally injured when returning from an out of hours GP appointment at Nottingham Emergency Medical Centre in a minibus. Samantha Barton died after opening a door and leaping from a minibus which was travelling at speed on the A52, just outside of Nottingham.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Elysium Healthcare (Farndon) Limited, when owned and operated by Raphael Healthcare, failed to have systems and procedures in place, including risk assessments, information, instruction and training which would have made sure the minibus doors were appropriately secured by the (fitted) child locks, so that passengers could not leave the vehicle until staff opened the doors from the outside.

Elysium Healthcare (Farndon) Limited previously pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act and has been fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £67,500.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Smith said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of this healthcare company to uphold its responsibilities to vulnerable patients by implementing simple control measures and associated safe working practices.”