Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

November 25, 2015

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NHS admits safety breach over mobility scooter death

The NHS has admitted breaking health and safety laws over a pensioner’s death on a mobility scooter at a NHS medical centre in Fareham in September 2012.

John Withers, 82, died when his mobility scooter fell nearly 4m (12ft) from a “severely decayed” walkway.

Mr Withers, who had been using a mobility scooter for four years, had been attending a routine appointment at the Osborn Road clinic when the incident occurred. A post-mortem examination showed he died of head injuries and had not suffered a heart attack or other medical episode.

The NHS Litigation Authority pleaded guilty at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court. The trusts which were responsible for the building at the time are no longer in existence.

Charges against the organisation were brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

A verdict of accidental death was recorded at an inquest at Portsmouth Guildhall in July.

Sentencing is due at Portsmouth Crown Court on 16 December. The NHS said it would not comment until afterwards.

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Dom Cooper
Dom Cooper
8 years ago

Well Done HSE. Hopefully yo will now pursue action in other Patient Safety areas too! See https://www.shponline.co.uk/uk-safety-profession-patient-safety-nhs/

8 years ago

There’s more to this ‘story’ than given here, the scooter was one of the larger higher powered ones, and the user quite possibly had it in high speed mode rather than low speed walking pace mode. The wired glass windows, wooden handrail height cross beam made from 8″ x 2″ hardwood and the hardwood window framing were installed years before such devices came onto the market and was not designed to withstand an impact from a powered vehicle in the first place. The NHS have taken the lowest cost option by pleading guilty early, so as not to have the… Read more »