Treatment of prisoner who died after 21 hours on the cell floor at HMP Peterborough was ‘shocking’

HMP Peterborough
HMP Peterborough

The treatment of a prisoner who died at HMP Peterborough after being left on the floor for 21 hours was ‘shocking’ and her care fell ‘far short’ of what should be expected, an official report has said.

Annabella Landsberg died in hospital on September 6 2017 while she was an inmate at the privately run jail.

After being restrained by staff on 2 September, she was left lying on her cell floor in the segregation unit for 21 hours without being examined by healthcare staff. When she was finally examined on 3 September, she was found to be extremely ill and was sent to hospital, where she remained in critical care until she died.

Today a report by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman Elizabeth Moody said the events that led up to Ms Landsberg’s death were ‘shocking.’ She said: “Ms Landsberg’s clinical care fell far short of that which she might have expected to receive, and we agree with the clinical reviewer that staff might have been able to prevent her death.

“Peterborough will need to take robust action to address the serious failures in care by both discipline and healthcare staff that occurred in this case.”

The report said Ms Landsberg, who was serving a four years and six months sentence, suffered type 2 diabetes, which was ‘controlled by diet alone.’ It said: “She was receiving several prescribed medications. Although she was clinically obese, she seems to have been reasonably fit and well.”

At 5.50pm on 2 September, Ms Landsberg sat down and then lay down on her cell floor in the segregation unit when a nurse tried to give her medication. When she resisted staff efforts to lock her cell door, she was restrained.

Ms Landsberg was then left lying on her cell floor for the next 21 hours. She did not eat any of the food that was placed in her cell and she was not seen to drink any fluids.

Although a nurse made three visits to Ms Landsberg’s cell on 3 September, she did not examine her. At about 3.00pm, another nurse went into Ms Landsberg’s cell, examined her and realised that she was seriously unwell. An emergency ambulance was called and Ms Landsberg was taken to hospital and placed in intensive care. Ms Landsberg died in hospital at 4.56pm on 6 September.

Mrs Moody said; “Whatever happened, it is unacceptable that she was left lying on the cell floor for 21 hours. Neither the clinical nor discipline staff responsible for Ms Landsberg’s welfare provided her with appropriate care, treatment or support during the extended period that she lay on the floor during 2 and 3 September 2017.”

Ms Landberg was the sixth female prisoner to die at HMP Peterborough since 2015 - four had been through natural causes.

The report made a number of recommendations, including that the governor commission a disciplinary report into the incident, review the protocol into the use of body warn cameras, and that where it is not possible for a healthcare practitioner to examine the prisoner safely immediately after a use of force incident, the prison should arrange for healthcare staff to visit again later when the prisoner has had a chance to calm down.