Client’s Awarded £16,500 for Death of Son | Hospital Discharge Negligence
Martin, a patient with a long-standing history of mental health problems and substance abuse, had previously undergone multiple mental interventions, including 28-day Sections and short stays in psychiatric hospitals such as Maidstone Priority House and Little Brook Hospital in Dartford, Kent. Despite numerous attempts at care and support, Martin’s progress had been largely unsuccessful.
Early Discharge from the Hospital
On Friday, January 25, 2019, Martin’s care was scheduled to be transferred to the Kenward Trust on the following Monday. However, he was discharged from the hospital over the weekend, despite the availability of beds. Due to hospital discharge negligence in the form of inadequate checks and risk assessments prior to discharge, Martin tragically passed away from an accidental overdose during the weekend.
Inquest and Legal Proceedings
Nimish Patel represented Martin’s family during the inquest. The treating doctor confirmed that Martin should have been discharged from the hospital a month earlier, as recommended by the discharge team. However, the doctor claimed that Martin had no address to go to, thus preventing his discharge despite the pressure from the discharge team. It should be noted that neither of Martin’s parents were in a position to provide long-term accommodation due to his addiction, vulnerability to drugs, and unpredictable behaviour. The coroner determined that Martin’s death was drug-related and that the actions of the Trust did not pose a risk of further deaths.
Legal Claim for Hospital Discharge Negligence
A legal claim was initiated against the Trust for their failure to protect Martin while under their care and to ensure his well-being. Although the Trust admitted to failing in their duty of care by discharging him prematurely, they refused to accept responsibility for their actions leading to the accidental overdose and subsequent death.
The case evoked intense emotions, especially from Martin’s father, who believed that the Trust’s actions had essentially “murdered” his son. Martin’s father also stated that Martin did not want to return to his flat. Martin’s father explained that he had been told Martin would not be discharged. Instead, he would remain at the hospital until such time that an appropriate place could be found for him in rehab.
AWH’s Head of Medical Negligence, Nimish Patel States:
“Part of Martin’s father’s frustration was that he was not informed when Martin was discharged. The decision was taken that a nurse would take him to his old flat. If the flat was not suitable then Martin would be given a room at a nearby hotel. However, when the nurse got to the room it was full of rats and rubbish as squatters had been there. Despite the flat’s condition, the nurse left him there as she had not been given the information about the hotel room.
Additionally, Martin was discharged on the anniversary of his best friend’s death. This was a time that the hospital knew Martin would be distressed. Martin should not have been in a position where he had access to obtain drugs, especially in a time where he would be particularly emotionally vulnerable.”
Review from Martin’s Father
“I engaged with AWH Solicitors to seek assistance in representing my family and me at an Inquest. Nimish Patel engaged with my requirements at short notice. Nimish was very responsive to my needs and attended the inquest and represented us at a very difficult time. He grasped the detail of the case very quickly and was excellent in questioning the various witnesses and securing the detail that we and the Coroner needed. He was very empathetic to our needs and continues to support us post-inquest with submissions, and a potential claim against a large public organisation. I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending him to anyone who is unfortunate enough to be involved in an inquest hearing or indeed anything in relation to professional negligence.”
£16,500 Awarded for Psychiatric Hospital Negligence
AWH Solicitors’ Clinical Negligence Department, represented by Nimish Patel, diligently pursued justice for Martin’s family in light of the Trust’s hospital discharge negligence in protecting and safeguarding his well-being. While the Trust acknowledged their failure to provide adequate care, the matter of their responsibility for the accidental overdose remained contested. Through the legal proceedings, Nimish Patel obtained fair compensation to address the family’s grievances stemming from this tragic incident.
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