Hospitals trust found guilty of failing duty of care after patient died following fall on to hospital equipment

Pilgrim Hospital
Pilgrim Hospital

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Pilgrim, Lincoln and Grantham hospitals face a fine after a jury found the organisation guilty of breaching health and safety legislation following the death of a patient at Pilgrim Hospital.

The Trust was prosecuted following an incident in July 2012 when patient John Biggadike died after suffering ‘catastrophic’ internal injuries when he was impaled on a lifting hoist which was being used to assist him.

Mr Biggadike, 53, from Spalding, fell onto a protruding metal post while the hoist was being used to assist him.

The prosecution alleged that hospital staff were not adequately trained or supervised in the use of the hoist and had removed a knee support pad which should have remained in place.

But the defence suggested Mr Biggadike’s death was not caused by failings in training but by a failure to act after a ‘serious incident’ involving a hoist at a hospital in Leicester in 2007.

After a two week trial at Lincoln Crown Court a jury took just three hours to find the Trust guilty of failing to discharge a duty of care.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust will be sentenced on a date to be fixed.

The trial judge, Judge Michael Heath will have to assess the level of financial penalty to be paid by the Trust.

Judge Heath told jurors the sentencing hearing would be a ‘complicated’ process.

Following the ruling, director of Estates and Facilities Paul Boocock: “We are disappointed by the outcome of this court case but fully accept the verdict.

“We felt that it was important to defend this case, not least because of the history of two other similar incidents involving this piece of equipment which we had not been aware of at the time of Mr Biggadyke’s tragic death.

“We would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family of Mr Biggadyke.”