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Health board fined after patient takes own life

The man was being treated at Dykebar Hospital in Paisley, Renfrewshire.

A health board has been fined £235,000 over a health and safety breach after a patient took his own life while in its care at a hospital.

The 36-year-old man, a father of four, died two days after he was admitted to the South Ward at Dykebar Hospital in Paisley, Renfrewshire, on January 22 2020.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that some of the fixtures and fittings on the ward were not of an anti-ligature design, prosecutors said.

HSE also found failures by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) to ensure that the existing ligature points at Dykebar Hospital were suitably and sufficiently risk assessed.

NHSGGC last month pleaded guilty to a breach of health and safety regulations committed between January 1 and March 23 2020.

The health board was fined £235,000 with an additional victim surcharge of £17,625 when the case called for sentencing at Paisley Sheriff Court on Monday, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said.

Debbie Carroll, who leads on health and safety investigations for COPFS, said: “NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde had a duty to keep their patient safe.

“Had they implemented all reasonably practicable measures they could have prevented him from taking his own life in the way he did.

“Their failure to ensure that ligature points within the hospital were suitably and sufficiently risk-assessed and that patients were not exposed to those ligature points led to the death of a man in their care.

“This prosecution should remind duty holders that a failure to manage and implement effective measures can have fatal consequences and they will be held accountable for this failure.”

Prosecutors said that following the death, remedial work was started but the failings continued until March 23 2020.

The health board managed the existing ligature risks by placing at risk patients on enhanced observations by nursing staff.

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