West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust have been fined £10,000 after a woman was seriously injured after she jumped from a hospital ward window.
Yesterday the trust pleaded guilty to failure to manage and operate a hospital in such a way to ensure the safety on persons not in their employment namely the risk of injury or death from a fall from height from unrestricted windows at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court.
Prosecuting on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive, Nicola Jaynes said 50-year-old Jane Bacon was admitted to a West Suffolk Hospital ward on September 22 last year.
Mrs Jaynes said Mrs Bacon had become agitated due to a flashing light in her room and thought she was being filmed.
She said: “She spent most of the night in her chair and the last time she was seen was 6am.
“She thought she was in danger and needed to escape.
“She used a chair to climb up and open a window and fell into bushes below.”
The window as 151cm from the floor.
Mrs Bacon sustained a broken shoulder, a broken rib, a fractured vertebrae, a collapsed lung and bruising and spent 13 days at Addenbrookes Hospital.
Mrs Jayne said although the trust had made efforts to make sure restrictors were placed on windows so people couldn’t accidentally fall out, they had not accounted fully for the situation of someone wanting to jump out.
In mitigation Iain Daniels said after the incident the trust had made steps to ensure all windows had been fitted with tamper proof window restrictors and that prior to Mrs Bacon’s fall the trust had an exemplary health and safety record.
He said: “The trust simply didn’t appreciate the risk of patients going out of windows deliberately.”
The trust were fined £10,000, ordered to pay £1,420.30 in the cost of the prosecution and a victim surcharge of £15.
Read more in next week’s Bury Free Press.