Bernard Thorogood of No5 Chambers has been instructed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to conduct the prosecution of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust for health and safety offences arising from aspects of the extensive problems at the trust.
This offence concerns the failure to effectively manage systems for record keeping and the transfer of patient information, and the trust accepts that these failures caused the death of a patient in 2007.
At Stafford Magistrates’ Court on 10 October 2013, the trust pleaded guilty to the charge. Thorogood outlined the case to the court and made submissions that due to the seriousness of the offences and the public importance of the case, the proper venue for the case was the Crown Court. The trust contested allocation to the Crown Court on the basis of its financial position.
After considering their decision, the justices referred the case to the Crown Court, considering that their powers of punishment were insufficient.
Thorogood will continue to conduct the case in the Crown Court.