QMC hospital death fall 'could not have been predicted'

QMC Nottingham
Image caption Staff struggled to hold Joseph Tauya for several minutes before he fell

The death of a man who threw himself from a hospital window "could not have been predicted", a coroner has ruled.

Joseph Tauya, 55, from Leicester, had surgery to remove a brain tumour at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham at the end of February 2012.

The inquest heard he was agitated after steroid treatment, smashed the fourth floor window and plunged to his death.

His family said they felt the death could have been prevented but the coroner praised the actions of staff.

Mr Tauya's brother-in-law Tendayi Phiri said: "You think if you take your relatives to a place like a hospital they should be protected. The fact his death happened in such a horrific way has caused us so much psychological suffering."

However, when coroner Mairin Casey recorded a narrative verdict she praised staff for trying to save Mr Tauya's life.

'Impossible to anticipate'

During the inquest, at Nottingham Coroner's Court, Miss Casey said a key question over Mr Tauya's death was whether or not it would have made any difference if he had been given a strong tranquiliser earlier.

She concluded hospital staff had acted "competently, properly and professionally" - particularly with regards to Mr Tauya's medication.

The coroner said: "I find that even if different decisions were made at different stages, it is completely impossible to anticipate how this might have affected the outcome.

"I find Mr Tauya's sudden leap on to the window ledge could not have been predicted."

Miss Casey mentioned the family had also expressed concern about the suitability of the glass in the window on the ward.

However, a letter from the Health and Safety Executive said there was no reason to believe the glazing was not to the correct standard.

A spokesperson for Nottingham University Hospitals said: "We offer our sincere condolences to the family of Mr Tauya following his tragic death and fully support the coroner's verdict."

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