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CQC fines Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospital Trust for failing duty of candour to Jade Hart's family

Mark Bowman
02/08/2021
The Care Quality Commission announced it has fined the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust £2,500 for failing to comply with the duty of candour regulations.

CQC has issued two fixed penalty notices of £1,250 to the Trust because it had failed to comply with duty of candour regulations that requires providers to be open and honest with patients or their families following an incident in which they suffer harm.

In 2021, CQC completed an investigation of a serious incident at the Trust. The fixed penalty notices relate to an incident in July 2018 where Jade Hart died following complications during childbirth. The two breaches of duty of candour regulations were:

  • Failing to notify the family as soon reasonably possible that an incident had occurred.
  • The trust did not provide the family with an account of the incident or offer an appropriate apology to them in a timely manner.

Duty of candour regulations were introduced in November 2014 for NHS bodies and April 2015 for all other organisations. They include that:

  • People should be informed when a notifiable safety incident occurs and be given reasonable support, such as counselling if appropriate, or independent advice. This should happen as soon as is reasonably practical after the incident.
  • The information provided should include an account of all the facts known about the incident and people should be informed about what will happen next and be kept informed of any investigation and its outcome. This should be followed up in writing and include an apology.

Mark Bowman, who is supporting Jade Hart's husband Ric and family at inquest, said, "Jade's family is still awaiting the ordeal of inquest to finally get full answers as to why Jade died. The gravity of this case is such that the Assistant Coroner referred it to the police for criminal investigation, which is extremely rare in individual cases of medical negligence."

Commenting on the fine, Jade's family "The tragic death of our beloved Jade immediately following the birth of our son at Bassetlaw hospital in July 2018 should never have happened. Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust then took almost eight months to investigate and share its draft report with the family, and only sent us a letter of apology in January 2021.

"The Trust's report never aligned with our account of what happened nor incorporated the independent obstetrician's opinion. Meanwhile, Jade's case was forward to the CQC, the GMC and the NMC.

"All we can really say now is that Jade's death continues to be an unimaginable and unspeakable grief for us all."

Find out more about birth injury claims or how to make a medical negligence claim.

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