Impact News

Responding to Violence, Suicide, Psychosis and Trauma

NHS Trust Guilty Following Fatal Stabbing of Care Worker

Care staff are having to work with increasingly challenging service users, often inappropriately placed, without adequate training or supervision. Another tragic death …
Central Bedfordshire Council

20 July: Sentencing of former Dunstable care home owner and county NHS Trust
A county NHS Trust and the owner of a former Dunstable care home have been sentenced after being found guilty of safety failings following the fatal stabbing of a care worker at a private residential care home in Dunstable.

Kathleen Bainbridge, 58, from Luton was killed at Abacus House, on Princes Street, on 24 August 2007 by resident Stephen Flatt, then aged 55, who attacked her with a knife from a kitchen. Fellow care worker Barbara Hill, from Dunstable, was also attacked when she went to help her colleague.

A joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Central Bedfordshire Council found that Abacus House was not the correct care facility for Mr Flatt, who had been placed there by the Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

A trial at Luton Crown Court heard he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and that Abacus House staff had no expertise or training for dealing with people with this disorder, or for managing violent or aggressive behaviour.

Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was yesterday (19 July) fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £326,346 for breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for its failings in relation to the fatal incident after being prosecuted by HSE.

The council brought proceedings at the same time against the owner of Abacus House, Chelvanayagam Menna, who was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of £338,996 after being found guilty of breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the same Act.

After the sentencing HSE Inspector Karl Howes said: “This was a tragic incident that left a family without a wife, mother and grandmother. No-one expects to go to work and never return home.

“Care homes have a duty not only to protect the safety of their residents but their staff as well. The NHS Trust failed to adequately assess the risks that were posed to staff and other residents from placing Mr Flatt in Abacus House.

“I hope this will make all NHS Trusts and care facilities carefully consider the procedures that they have in place during patient placement.”

Councillor Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services at Central Bedfordshire Council said: “The legal process has been long and difficult, particularly for Mrs Bainbridge’s family but also for her former colleagues – especially Mrs Hill.

“Of course the trial of Stephen Flatt had to take initial priority and once this was concluded the police instigated a further investigation of the Trust and care home owner. However the Council and HSE cooperated closely on their investigation from the outset and were in a position to progress with proceedings as soon as the police cleared the way.

“All concerned in the case hope that the right lessons are learned from this tragedy and that nothing of a similar nature occurs in future.”

Filed under: Impact Training, Other Mental Health, psychosis, trauma, Violence, , , , , , ,

Seven injured in attack by patient at Newham Hospital

From BBC News (
Five patients and two employees at an east London hospital have been injured in attack by another patient.

One woman, aged in her late 60s, suffered serious head injuries in the attack at Newham University Hospital in Plaistow in the early hours.

A witness said a man used a metal bar to attack three men and two women. Two female staff suffered minor injuries restraining the man.

A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence.
‘So strong’

The hospital said an investigation was under way and that neither drugs or alcohol were factors in the incident.

Police were alerted at about 0040 GMT on Saturday to reports of a man assaulting staff and patients.

It is thought the injured patients were asleep when they were attacked on the general medical ward.

All the patients involved are now in a stable condition.

Consuela Camacho was injured when the man turned on patients and staff at the Glen Road hospital.

Her daughter Melita, who did not personally see the attack but was told details by a witness, said: “The nurses [could not] do anything because he was so strong.

“Somehow he managed to go where my mum’s bed is and then started hitting her with this metal bar and he hit her in the face, she is really badly hit.”
‘Hitting his head’

She said her mother had been knocked out of bed by the force of the blows.

The attack only stopped when the female patient in the next bed shouted at the assailant, who then turned his attentions to her, Ms Camacho said.

She said a witness had told her that the attack was triggered when the man called for help from nurses but received none.

The witness told her the man began hitting his head repeatedly against a wall before picking up the metal bar and striking an approaching nurse.

Nurses on the general medical ward, where men’s and women’s areas are separated by unlocked fire doors, reportedly called three times for security personnel during the attack, Ms Camacho claimed.

She described her mother as now very confused and fearful of another attack.

A statement from Newham University Hospital NHS Trust confirmed that the Metropolitan Police were investigating an incident.

It said it related to a patient who had been admitted to hospital, five more patients and two clinical members of staff.

Filed under: Other Mental Health, Violence, , , , , ,