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Basildon Hospital fined £50,000 and costs after Kyle Flack’s death

Basildon hospital admits health and safety breaches

Kyle Flack

10 June 2010

Last year Frances Swaine, head of the human rights department at Leigh Day, represented the family of Kyle Flack at the inquest into his death.  Kyle was a young man of 20 with severe learning difficulties who died at Basildon Hospital in 2006 when he suffocated after getting his head stuck in the bars of his bed.  The inquest into his death revealed that the hospital had failed to supervise Kyle or to properly carry out a risk assessment, had failed to train staff properly, and had failed to communicate or keep records effectively.  This was despite warnings from Kyle’s mother about the need to supervise her son closely, and to ensure that the appropriately-sized cot bumpers were fitted on his bed.

The Basildon University Hospital has now acknowledged that that Kyle died following failures in its “systems and procedures” at a hearing at Basildon Crown Court following a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive. Judge Christopher Mitchell has fined the hospital £50,000 plus costs of £40,000 for the health and safety failings which were a “significant cause” of Kyle’s death.

The judge said that he was satisfied that the hospital had thoroughly investigated Kyle’s death and made improvements in care procedures. Iain Daniels, defending the case, said risk assessments were now carried out and 872 child-sized rails had been purchased. An unannounced inspection carried out by the Care Quality Commission in 2009 made other criticisms of the hospital, including a poor care environment in A&E and problems with hygiene.

Mrs Flack said after the hearing:

“My son couldn't call for help, he had a horrendous death, and nobody went to his room. I have to live with the fact I put him in that hospital.”

For more information please contact Frances Swaine on 020 7650 1200.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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