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Hospital prosecuted over patient death

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Gillian Astbury (66), died in April 2007 after entering a diabetic coma at Stafford Hospital. The Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust is to be prosecuted after two of their nurses failed to provide the much-needed insulin to Mrs. Astbury. Chief executive of the trust, Maggie Oldham, apologised for the “appalling care” that Mrs. Astbury had received prior to her death on the 11th of April 2007.

Hospital Nurses Ann King and Jeannette Coulson have both been found guilty of medical misconduct by A Nursing and Midwifery Council panel. The hospital will also be prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work Act, said Peter Galsworthy from the Health and Safety Executive.

‘Ongoing criminal investigation’

The HSE blames the hospital’s poor communication regarding patient information, poor record keeping, and confused shift handovers for the death of Gillian Astbury. Friends and family of Mrs. Astbury were in disbelief that a hospital could fail to provide such a basic level of care; her daughter, Catherine Beeson, said: “How could they miss she needed insulin? It’s just basic care.

Stafford Magistrates’ Court will see the first hearing on the 9th of October. Staffordshire Police have acknowledged the HSE’s announcement regarding their desire to charge the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, saying furthermore: “We cannot give any further details at this time due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the HSE as we would not wish to prejudice any future decisions.

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