NHS Trust prosecuted by healthcare regulator

The Chambers UK Bar team provide a look at a case in which an NHS Trust admitted failing to provide safe care and treatment for a newborn baby.

Published on 20 April 2021
Written by Eleanor Crundwell
Eleanor Crundwell

Groundbreaking case following the tragic death of Harry Richford

Following the death of Harry Richford in 2017 at just seven days old, a coroner’s inquest was held into how the actions of the doctors and midwives at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate led to his death. The inquest found that Harry’s death was “wholly avoidable” and “contributed to by neglect” on the part of the hospital staff.

In 2020, as a result of the findings of the inquest, the Care Quality Commission announced that it would be prosecuting East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust on two counts of unsafe care and treatment, one relating to Harry and one relating to his mother Sarah. This prosecution is the first of its kind.

The NHS Trust pleads guilty

In April 2021 the NHS Trust pleaded guilty to both counts and admitted failing to provide safe care and treatment for both Harry and his mother under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

During the first inquest, Harry’s family were represented by Jennifer MacLeod and Emma Mockford, both of Brick Court Chambers. The barristers acted for the family pro bono.

A charity that offers free legal assistance

Advocate is a charity which matches members of the public with barristers who volunteer their time and expertise to assist with their cases. For more information on the incredible services they offer, please visit their website here.

To find out more about the top barristers and chambers for both inquests and clinical negligence matters, please view our 2021 rankings or click on the links for each of these practice areas above.

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