Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust guilty over patient death

Lincoln Crown Court Image copyright Geograph/joanne davies
Image caption The jury at Lincoln Crown Court found the NHS trust guilty of breaching health and safety legislation

A hospital trust has been found guilty of breaching safety laws following the death of a patient who was impaled on a metal physiotherapy hoist.

John Biggadike, 53, from Spalding, Lincolnshire, was being lifted at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston in 2012 when he fell on the equipment.

Mr Biggadike was receiving physio at the hospital ahead of being discharged.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust will be sentenced on 21 July, when it faces a fine.

During the two-week trial at Lincoln Crown Court, jurors were told hospital staff were not using the equipment correctly but that no individuals were to blame.

The prosecution alleged that staff were not adequately trained or supervised in the use of the hoist.

Image copyright Google
Image caption John Biggadike was being lifted during physiotherapy when he fell

The defence suggested Mr Biggadike's death was caused by failures to act following a "serious incident" with a hoist in a Leicester hospital in 2007, rather than by inadequacies in training.

The 53-year-old fell on to the pole as he was being helped by two members of staff. His rectum was penetrated, causing "catastrophic internal injuries".

Staff had removed a knee support pad from the equipment which should have remained in place, the trial heard.

Judge Michael Heath said the sentencing process would be a complicated one.

Since Mr Biggadike's death, the trust has introduced hoist training for staff.

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