Spalding man’s death at hospital would have been less likely if equipment manufacturer had issued a safety notice, jury told

Crown court news
Crown court news

The senior health and safety manager at the Lincolnshire hospital trust, which is on trial following the death of a patient today, told a jury that the fatality would have been less likely to have happened if the manufacturer had issued a safety notice following a previous incident involving the equipment.

The jury has heard that a “serious incident” had previously taken place at a hospital in Leicester involving an identical lifting hoist.

The Leicester incident occurred in 2007 which was five years before an incident at the Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, in which patient John Biggadike died from “catastrophic” internal injuries caused when he was impaled on part of the Arjo Encore lifting hoist which was being used to assist him.

Philippa Fitzmaurice, senior health and safety manager at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust which runs the Pilgrim Hospital, told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court today, Tuesday May 9, that staff at the Trust’s hospitals were given training in the use of the hoist.

Ms Fitzmaurice was asked if the death of Mr Biggadike would have been less likely if Arjo had sent out a field safety notice following the Leicester incident. She replied “Most certainly less likely.”

Mr Biggadike, 53, who lived in Spalding, died in July 2012 from internal injuries he suffered when he fell onto a protruding metal post while being aided by the hoist.

The prosecution allege 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 suggest 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.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust denies breach of health and safety regulations by exposing non-employees to risk by failing to train, supervise and monitor its employees in relation to the safe use of the lifting hoist on dates between July 2001 and April 2012.

The trial continues.