Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust face criminal charges as the fall-out from the Stafford Hospital investigation continues

The HSE has decided to prosecute the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) in relation to the deaths of four patients, Patrick Daly, aged 89, who died in May 2014, Edith Bourne, aged 83, who died in July 2013, Ivy Bunn, aged 90, who died in November 2008, and Lilian Tucker, aged 77, who died in October 2005.

During the late 2000s the Trust experienced an exceptionally high mortality rate amongst its patients and evidence of poor care, standards and neglect, from 2005 to 2009. A full-scale public enquiry took place ending with a final report in February 2013. The report made 290 recommendations mainly designed to create a new system of openness and transparency amongst NHS staff.

The HSE has confirmed that following its investigation they believe there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to bring criminal proceedings in this case. “There are four separate charges, each alleging a breach under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.” The Trust remains in place as a legal entity (it no longer provides patient services after University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust took over) and is due to appear before Stafford Magistrates Court for a preliminary hearing.

The Trust’s special administrator Tim Rideout said the remaining “shell organisation” would oversee any “potential criminal liabilities” and added that “I am committed to bringing matters to a conclusion as efficiently and effectively as possible in the best interests of the families concerned”. The Trust was fined £200,000 in 2014 following the death of Gillian Astbury, a diabetic patient, aged 66, who died in 2007 after nurses failed to provide routine insulin.