Former Stafford Hospital trust to be sentenced over four patient deaths


The now-defunct NHS trust which ran Stafford Hospital is set to be sentenced for safety breaches connected to the deaths of four elderly patients.

A judge sitting at Stafford Crown Court is expected to hear details of the "very significant" failings during a two-day hearing before passing sentence on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust, which no longer provides patient services, admitted four offences last month at Stafford Magistrates' Court.

The previous hearing was told that three of the four deaths occurred after falls, while another happened after a patient was given penicillin despite hospital staff being told she was allergic to the antibiotic.

Charges against the trust were announced in October by the Health and Safety Executive after an investigation into the deaths of Lillian Tucker, 77, Ivy Bunn, 90, Edith Bourne, 83, and 89-year-old Patrick Daly between 2005 and 2014.

The trust's lawyer told the previous hearing that he had specific instructions to express "very sincere condolences to the families of all four individuals, and to apologise for the shortcomings in care which caused them so much pain and distress".

The court heard that three of the charges related to a failure to carry out a proper risk assessment and identify control measures to prevent falls.

The Mid Staffordshire trust, which was replaced by new governance structures in November last year, was at the centre of an independent investigation and a public inquiry into "appalling" levels of care between 2005 and 2009.