Directors of failed hospital could still be working in care, coroner fears

Cawston Park Hospital, Tugay Akman

Tugay Akman, director of the Jeesal Group, promised lessons will be learned from Cawston Park Hospital which has filed for liquidation - Credit: Colin Finch/Archant Library

Concerns have been raised that the directors of a specialist hospital where failings led to the death of a 32-year-old man are still in charge of other companies caring for vulnerable people.

Ben King had been a patient at Jeesal Group-owned Cawston Park Hospital in North Norfolk for two years when he died in July 2020.

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

Ben King, died at Cawston Park Hospital on July 29 2020. An inquest into his death made a number of criticisms of the care he received. - Credit: Supplied courtesy of Ben King's family

Last month, an inquest into his death found major failings in the care he received including the failure to "identify the seriousness of a life-threatening situation".

It concluded there had been a failure to diagnose an obesity-related breathing disorder, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, and "inadequate consideration" of the use of a sedative called Promethazine.

Mr King was one of three patients to die at the hospital within a 27-month period. 

The hospital closed in May with the company behind it, the Jeesal Akman Care Corporation, since filing for liquidation owing nearly £4 million. 

File photo of Tugay Akman, chief executive of Jeesal. Picture: Colin Finch

File photo of Tugay Akman, chief executive of Jeesal. Picture: Colin Finch - Credit: Colin Finch

In a prevention of future deaths (PFD) report written after the inquest. senior coroner Jacqueline Lake said she was concerned the directors of Jeesal Akman Corporation, which ran Cawston Park up to its closure may still be serving on the boards of Jeesal Holdings Ltd (JHL) and Jeesal Residential Care Services Ltd (JRSCL).

These companies, she wrote, "continue to provide residential care to persons with mental health illness, learning disabilities, complex needs and physical disability".

The accident happened near Cawston Park. Pictures: David Bale

Cawston Park hospital, near Aylsham, is closing down. - Credit: David Bale

Ms Lake said: "The concerns raised at the inquest could apply to residential care offered by these companies and unless such concerns are addressed there is a risk that future deaths may occur."

You may also want to watch:

She also said "no substantive changes" had been made at the residential homes owned by JHL and JRCSL following Mr King's death and the closure of Cawston Park.

Tugay Akman, chief executive of the Jeesal Group said that he had seen a copy of the PFD report and that the companies shared one director who had no involvement in the day to day running of services.

Most Read

He said the business was "a family firm" and the two directors highlighted in the coroner's report, he and his business partner, "were not directly running those services."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter