A HOSPITAL trust has been fined £2,500 after a health regulator found they failed to deal correctly with the family of a patient who died during childbirth.
Independent health body, The Care Quality Commission (CQC), has fined Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for two breaches of "duty of candour" regulations.
The incident happened in 2018 at Bassetlaw Hospital, but the trust did not apologise to the victim's family until earlier this year, the health watchdog said.
The CQC has issued two fixed penalty notices of £1,250 to the trust because it had failed to comply with regulations, requiring health providers to be open and honest with patients or their families if there is an incident in which they suffer harm.
Earlier this year, the watchdog completed an investigation of a serious incident at the trust in 2018 where a patient, who cannot be named for legal reasons, died after complications during childbirth.
The CQC said that the two breaches were in:
- Failing to notify the family as soon as reasonably possible that an incident had occurred.
- Not providing the family with an account of the incident or offer an appropriate apology to them in a timely manner.
The CQC said inspectors had followed up directly with the trust to understand what actions had been taken and if any were still required.
The trust was also required to show the steps it had taken to strengthen the processes in place to ensure compliance with the duty of candour in future.
Sarah Dronsfield, head of hospital inspection for the north for the CQC, said: "Under the duty of candour, all providers are required to be open with patients or their families when something goes wrong or that appears to have caused significant harm.
"Where CQC find evidence that this has not happened, we will take action, as we have done against Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“We issued two fixed penalty notices following the death of a patient at the trust and their handling of notifying the family in 2018.
"There was a significant delay in following the duty of candour and the family did not receive a formal apology from the trust until early 2021.
“The amount of this fine is in no way reflective of the value of the life that was lost, but is the maximum amount we can fine an organisation for breaching the duty of candour regulation.
“We will always take action where organisations have failed people and their families, and we will continue to monitor the trust to ensure they have learnt from this and these mistakes aren’t repeated.”