27 November 2007
Hospital fined after patient falls
A hospital has been fined after an incident in which a patient injured himself while climbing out of a window.
The accident occurred at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, which looks after a population of around 350,000 people, when a patient was admitted to a first floor ward for treatment for alcohol use.
He subsequently opened an unsecured window, climbed onto the sill and dropped to the ground, fracturing his ankle on impact.
Stockport NHS Foundation, which is responsible for the hospital, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations at a hearing in Trafford Magistrates Court and was ordered to pay a total of nearly £7,000.
Commenting on the incident, Health and Safety Executive inspector Thomas Merry said: "This case graphically illustrates that hospitals need to ensure that vulnerable patients in their care are not put at risk. This patient's injuries were entirely avoidable."