Man wanted by police over Norfolk hospital death probe is tracked down

Cawston Park

- Credit: The Bailey Family/Ben King's Family/Archant

Norfolk police have tracked down a man they wanted to speak to over the alleged ill treatment of a patient who died at a private hospital.

And police have also confirmed they are to re-examine their investigation around the death of another patient at Cawston Park hospital.

Ben King, 32, Nicholas Briant, 33, and Joanna Bailey, 36, died within just over two years of each other while they were patients at Cawston Park Hospital, near Aylsham.

Last week, a serious case review commissioned by Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board, was published, which found major failures of governance, commissioning, oversight, planning for individuals and professional practice at the hospital.

Ben King, died at Cawston Park Hospital on July 29 2020

Ben King. - Credit: Supplied courtesy of Ben King's family

The report revealed how Norfolk police have been looking at CCTV footage from the day Mr King, who had Down's Syndrome and learning disabilities, died.

That report stated that at 6am on the day Mr King died after going into cardiac arrest in July 2019 - : "A staff member 'approached (Ben) who was awake in his lounge/second bedroom' and 'rough handled him by pushing him roughly and dragging him down by his arms before hitting his head area with an open hand.' The carer '…then looked up to make sure that there was no one looking and hit (Ben) again in the head area with the back of his hand.'"

Norfolk police issued an appeal to find a man they wanted to speak to regarding his treatment - and have confirmed a man in his 60s came forward.

A police spokesperson said: "Following a wanted appeal last Thursday regarding the treatment of Ben King at Cawston Park Hospital, yesterday (Monday, September 13) a man in his 60s came forward and was interviewed voluntarily at a police station. Enquiries are ongoing."

Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake concluded Mr King, from Aylsham, “died due to inadequate weight management and failure to diagnose obesity hypoventilation syndrome and inadequate consideration of the use of promethazine.”

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The inquest jury also found that there was a “failure to diagnose obesity hypoventilation syndrome and inadequate consideration of the use of promethazine”, as well as a “failure to identify the seriousness of a life-threatening situation."

And, following a request from Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew, Norfolk police are to look again at their investigative reports into the death of Ms Bailey.

Joanna Bailey from Collier Row, Romford

Joanna Bailey. - Credit: The Bailey family

Ms Bailey, from Romford, had learning disabilities and health conditions, including epilepsy and sleep apnoea.

An inquest found she died at Cawston Park of natural causes - sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, in April 2018.

But the jury found CPR was not administered prior to emergency services arriving, there were inconsistent observations, staff had not been ensuring she used a machine which would have helped with sleep apnoea and her care plan was not accessible to staff.

Police had investigated the circumstances surrounding her death and a case was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service against several staff members for the offence of a care worker wilfully neglected an individual.

But police had said that due to "insufficient evidence concerning Joanna’s time of death" it has not been possible to prosecute, because it could not be established whether Ms Bailey was still alive when staff failed to provide CPR.

Broadland Conservative MP Jerome Mayhew. Picture: Danielle Booden

Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Mayhew had asked the police if they could carry out a review of the force's investigations - and police confirmed they would.

A spokesperson said: "As a result of the Safeguarding Adult Review, published last Thursday, investigative reports (regarding Joanna) will be re-examined by Norfolk Constabulary."

Cawston Manor

Cawston Park hospital. - Credit: Mike Page

The Jeesal Akman Care Corporation, which ran the hospital, which closed in May, had said: "The care they received at Cawston Hospital fell far below the standards we would have expected.

"We are deeply sorry that we let the families down.

"We closed Cawston Park Hospital and whilst the property is owned by our holding company, we will never run it as hospital again nor will we ever operate any other hospital."

The serious case review made 13 recommendations.

And ts author Dr Margaret Flynn called on the government to called on the government to end the country's reliance on hospitals driven by profit, warning: "Unless this hospital and similar units cease to receive public money, such lethal outcomes will persist".

Margaret Flynn

Margaret Flynn, who led the serious case review. - Credit: Margaret Flynn


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