FOI: Has another newspaper uncovered a health-related manslaughter?

The other week, I blogged about a remarkably successful FOI request by the Brighton Argus which had revealed a previously unreported investigation into an alleged manslaughter at a hospital.

Neither the police nor the hospital trust had felt the need to make the investigation known – or highlight the fact that three members of staff have been arrested and bailed pending further investgiations into the death of the 77-year-old.

Now, the Warrington Guardian is reporting that an FOI it submitted to local health authorities has uncovered some interesting findings:

A MURDER and a child death were some of the serious incidents reported by health trusts in Warrington earlier this year.

Between April and June, 18 were logged by Warrington and Halton hospitals and The 5 Boroughs Partnership.

They were subsequently registered with health authority the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) and NHS Warrington.

On June 19, 5 Boroughs, the mental health trust that covers Warrington, Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Wigan, announced that one of its outpatients had committed a murder.

It also reported on May 25 that a community patient, who was receiving treatment, had died unexpectedly.

On April 21, Warrington and Halton hospitals made NPSA aware of the child death.

The list was revealed following a Freedom of Information request lodged by the Warrington Guardian.


So that’s an out-patient at a mental health trust committing murder and a patient from the same trust dying unexpectedly, plus a child dying in hospital being considered unusual enough to warrant a report to the National Patient Safety Agency, the NHS body which seems to be the organisation which must be informed of serious incidents.

That’s quite a haul for a relatively small area – and suggests that the NPSA may be a good starting point for other journalists looking to find out what else hospitals have been keeping under wraps.


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