Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham fined following death of Danny Jewitt
Hospital bosses have admitted
breaching health and safety laws following the death of a patient
who fell out of a first floor window.
Medway NHS Foundation Trust which
runs Medway Maritime Hospital was fined, £42,000 today at Maidstone
It was prosecuted by the Health and
Safety Executive (HSE) following the death of Danny Jewitt, who
died in 2009.
The 45-year-old (pictured right),
who lived in Paget Street, Gillingham, had been suffering from
confusion and memory loss when he died as a result of the fall on
The prosecution centred around the
trust’s failure to ensure that patients, especially vulnerable
ones, were not exposed to risk from falls from windows.
The basis of the trust’s guilty
plea was that it had failed to ensure patients safety despite
identifying in 2007 the need to put restrictions on such old sash
windows such as the one Mr Jewitt fell from.
However, the court heard this work
was not carried out as there was a lack of comminution from senior
management to personnel who would have carried out the work.
An inquest in Mr Jewitt’s death in
2010, found he had probably exited the window of his own volition,
but the hearing was unable to determine why.
Medway Maritime Hospital,
where Mr Jewitt fell to his death
Mr Jewitt had been unsteady on his
feet and suffered from memory loss and confusion due to the effects
of long-term misuse of alcohol on his brain.
He lived with his partner Carol
Turner, and suffered serious injuries in the fall and, although he
was treated at the hospital’s accident and emergency ward, he died
from his injuries.
The former painter and decorator
suffered from alcoholism and went into hospital after Miss Turner,
who was in court for the case today, could not get him out of
Speaking today, Danny’s partner of 19 years, said: “I have lost
someone who was special to me, and made me feel special, and who I
love very much.
“You don’t expect something like this to happen - Danny went in
to the hospital to be cared for.
"I’m upset that the Trust has not taken the time to formally
apologise for what happened, or even sent a letter of
Judge Philip St John-Stevens said
the trust had promptly accepted full responsibilty for the tragic
incident and had a good health and safety record.
The trust was also ordered they pay costs of £19,073.68.
For the full story see
Monday's edition of Medway Messenger.
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