A Scottish health board has been fined fined £235,000 after a patient took his own life while in their care. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde admitted breaching health and safety regulations between January 2020 and March 2020.Martin Donnelly, a 36-year-old father of four, had been admitted to the South Ward at Dykebar Hospital, Paisley two days before taking his own life on January 22, 2020.The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation following the father-of-four's death, finding that some of the fixtures and fittings on the ward were not of an anti-ligature design.Failures by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to ensure that the existing ligature points at Dykebar Hospital were suitably and sufficiently risk assessed were also discovered.Following the death, remedial work was started but the failings continued until March 2020.
The health board managed the existing ligature risks by placing at risk patients on ‘enhanced’ observations by nursing staff.The health board pled guilty at Paisley Sheriff Court and was fined £235,000 with an additional victim surcharge of £17,625.
Following sentencing Debbie Carroll, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service lead on health and safety investigations, said: "NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde had a duty to keep their patients safe."Had they implemented all reasonably practicable measures they could have prevented him from taking his own life in the way he did."Their failure to ensure that ligature points within the hospital were suitably and sufficiently risk-assessed and that patients were not exposed to those ligature points led to the death of a man in their care. "This prosecution should remind duty holders that a failure to manage and implement effective measures