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Priory healthcare group fined £650,000 over death of patient

The Priory healthcare group has been fined more than £650,000 over the death of a 23-year-old patient who was hit by a train after absconding from a mental health hospital.

Matthew Caseby, a personal trainer, was able to leave Birmingham’s Priory hospital Woodbourne by scaling a wall after being “inappropriately unattended” for several minutes in September 2020, an inquest jury ruled in 2022.

The healthcare company pleaded guilty to a criminal safety failing linked to the death of a patient, breaching the 2008 Health and Social Care Act, at Birmingham magistrates court on Friday.

The London-based provider was charged after an investigation into the death of Caseby conducted by the Care Quality Commission.

Caseby’s father, Richard Caseby, who had been campaigning for a prosecution of the healthcare organisation, told the court the company attempted to “evade accountability for its gross failures”.

In a victim impact statement which he presented as part of the prosecution on Friday, he said: “I found it unbelievable that a private company commissioned by the NHS to care for its most vulnerable psychiatric patients in the greatest crisis of their lives could be so cruel and resort to such desperate tactics to hide the truth.”

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Source: The Guardian, 8 March 2024


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