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NHS Trust charged over the deaths of two patients

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The Care Quality Commission has brought the charges against Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust over two alleged breaches of the Health and Social Care Act which once again highlights the dangers of sepsis in particular. The case opened on Wednesday 7 April 2021 at Dudley Magistrates' Court.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) claims the hospital breached its duty under regulations 12 and 22 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 to ensure patients receive safe care and treatment and are protected from avoidable harm. The trust operates three sites, including Russells Hall, and was last inspected by the CQC in 2019.

This is only the fifth time the regulator has prosecuted an NHS trust and the second time it has laid charges against an acute hospital. The first charge relates to the death of Natalie Billingham (33) who died from sepsis at Russells Hall Hospital in March 2018 after she was originally admitted into A&E with suspected deep vein thrombosis.

The second charge concerns the death of Kaysie-Jane Robinson, formerly known as Kaysie-Jane Bland, (14) who was profoundly disabled as a result of being starved of oxygen during her birth at Wordsley hospital.

Amy Greaves, a principal associate in Shoosmiths clinical negligence department, said:

“Whilst we don’t know the full details of these two tragic cases, they do show how sepsis continues to cause devastation to families when it can, and should, be identified and treated. Wider accountability for NHS Trusts, outside of patient claims, is important for improving patient safety.”

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