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Police launch investigation into patient death


Police are investigating allegations around the death of a patient who was under the care of Hertfordshire Partnership University Foundation Trust.

The probe by Hertfordshire Constabulary relates to the case of Margaret Molyneux, 69, who according to a review by the trust’s commissioners, was prescribed doses of anti-psychotic medication which were significantly higher than recommended limits.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.

Ms Molyneux had been admitted to the trust’s mental health unit in Radlett in 2017, after which her physical health declined and she was admitted to Watford General Hospital with pneumonia and dysphagia, which relates to difficulties swallowing.

She was discharged back to the Radlett unit, but died several weeks later at Watford General Hospital, after choking on her food and developing aspiration pneumonia. 

An inquest in February 2018 ruled she died from natural causes, but an investigation into her case commissioned by East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, seen by HSJ, subsequently suggested high doses of Olanzapine, an anti-psychotic drug, were “likely to have at least contributed to some of the physical problems she experienced… including low blood pressure, falls and dysphagia”.

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Source: HSJ, 6 May 2021

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