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Trust’s failures lead to patient’s death

Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust has been fined a significant amount and ordered to pay over £27,000 in damages over what the Judge described as the wholly avoidable and tragic death of a vulnerable patient.

What Happened?

Gillian Astbury, 66, a Type 1 diabetic died in 2007 after staff at Stafford hospital failed to give her the insulin she required to stay alive.

Despite Ms. Astbury’s ward undergoing as many as eight shift changes and 11 drugs rounds per day, the court heard that staff on the ward didn’t follow – and sometimes didn’t even look at – her medical notes, clearly stating her need for insulin, regular blood tests and a special diet.

What was the result?

Staffordshire NHS foundation trust was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £27,049 costs.

Peter Galsworthy, HSE Head of Operations in the West Midlands, said:

“Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust failed to implement a
proper handover system, or to oversee the proper completion
of nursing records and the monitoring of care plans.
In doing so they put Gillian Astbury at risk. 

The Trust’s systems were simply not robust enough to ensure
that staff consistently followed principles of good
communication and record keeping. Gillian’s
death was entirely preventable. She
just needed to be given insulin.”

If you have been affected by medical negligence, and you would like expert advice, contact the Hampson Hughes Solicitors Medical Negligence Team today on 0151 242 1025 or email

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