A had a history of serious mental illness.

On the evening of 10 March 2001 A’s family called an ambulance.  A was taken to A&E at the Hospital.

It was recorded that he was suffering from psychosis with an underlying depression. 

A was admitted informally to South Ward 3 which was on the 3rd floor.  The main entrance to the ward was kept locked by staff.  The fire door was in need of repair. 

A became increasingly agitated and paranoid during the following day.  He was running wildly all over the ward.  At about 18.20hrs, he escaped through the fire door on the ward and ran out of the ward.  He fell through a window on the third floor, sustaining serious injuries. 

We alleged the nursing staff failed to respond to A’s agitated behaviour throughout the day on 11 March 2001, failed to administer sedative medication; and to ensure that A remained in a side room where he would not have access to either of the exits from the ward.

In addition the on-call psychiatrist, upon being informed of the Claimant's behaviour at or about

17.20, failed to examine A adequately. 

As a result of his fall, A suffered serious injuries.  He was in a coma for an extended period.  He suffered diffuse brain damage and a fractured hip and shoulder,  the latter preventing him from ever returning to his pre-accident work as a plasterer.

After protracted negotiations Samantha Critchley settled the case for £350,000, shortly before Trial.  Following A’s injury and due to a number of previous similar cases within the same Trust a full internal and external independent inquiry was carried out.  One positive outcome is that the psychiatric ward has now been moved to the ground floor. 


For further information please call Samantha Critchley on

  • 020 7861 4263
  • email samantha.critchley@fieldfisher.com, or




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