John Cooper QC & Mike Atkins secure acquittal in landmark NHS Corporate Manslaughter prosecution
John Cooper QC and Mike Atkins have secured the acquittal of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, the first ever Trust to be prosecuted for Corporate Manslaughter. The Trust is also the largest organisation of any kind prosecuted for the offence so far.
The prosecution arose out of the tragic death of an obstetric patient who failed to recover fully from a general anaesthetic. The Prosecution alleged that two of the doctors responsible for her care lacked vital qualifications and experience and that there were serious shortcomings in supervision, in particular on the day of the incident. One of those doctors, a consultant anaesthetist, was charged with manslaughter by gross negligence. The other, a specialty doctor, had left the jurisdiction and so played no part in the trial.
The case was dismissed this morning after the Judge accepted a submission that there was no case to answer against the Trust. The ruling came after two weeks of evidence at Inner London Crown Court. The case against the consultant anaesthetist was also dismissed.