No further action to be taken against man arrested in connection with death of patient at James Paget Hospital

General view of the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston; Picture: James Bass

General view of the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston; Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

No further action will be taken against a man arrested in connection with the death of a patient at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, police said today.

The middle-aged man, a member of medical staff, has also had his bail cancelled.

He was arrested on October 5, as part of a police investigation into the death of James May, 76, from Great Yarmouth, at the hospital on September 20.

An extensive inquiry was launched by the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team following a referral by the hospital to police on September 30, of an internal allegation that Mr May died as a result of a deliberate drugs overdose.

A Norfolk police spokesman said that following a review of all of the evidence obtained, including the results of toxicology tests, and in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, a decision was made that the man arrested in connection with the enquiry will not face criminal prosecution.

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Mr May's next of kin has been informed of the decision and the investigation into the full circumstances surrounding Mr May's death will be passed, in due course, by police to the coroner's office.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Durham said: 'This was an extremely serious allegation, the complexities of which necessitated a full and thorough investigation by the major investigation team, with the assistance of independent medical experts. All relevant parties, including hospital management, have now been informed of this decision.

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'We will now look to further review and assess all of the information collated during the course of our investigation, in consultation with the Health and Safety Executive and Care Quality Commission, to determine what, if any, further actions may be required.'

Christine Allen, chief executive James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'Our thoughts continue to be with the family of Mr May at what will be a very difficult time. This matter has been thoroughly investigated and the trust has co-operated fully with the police. We welcome the news that no further action will be taken against a member of staff.

'Our priority throughout this period of time has been to continue to provide safe patient care and we are grateful for the support of our local community. We also have been supporting the members of staff involved and will continue to do so.

'We referred this matter to the HSE and CQC at the beginning of the police investigation and we will continue to work openly with them to conclude this matter.

'As not all elements of the investigation process are complete, we cannot comment further at this time.'

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