EPUT statement on Health and Safety Executive prosecution

June 16, 2021

Today (16 June, 2021) Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has been sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court following a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution.

The Trust entered a guilty plea to one charge under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in November 2020 following a HSE investigation into one of our predecessor trusts, North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, on how it managed environmental risks from fixed potential ligature points in its inpatient wards between October 2004 and March 2015.

The court fined the Trust £1.5 million and ordered it to pay costs of the case in full of £86,000.

EPUT Chief Executive Paul Scott has issued the following statement:

“I would like to personally express my deepest sympathies and apologies to the families and friends of those who lost their lives. I am fully committed to ensuring that every lesson is learnt.

“Since joining EPUT as chief executive last October, I have put safety at the forefront of everything we do.

“I am grateful to the families who have shared their experiences in court today, and also with me privately. Their experiences have had a deep impact on our staff and will help the Trust to drive continuous improvements to safety on our wards.

“The court has heard that improvements have already been made to our services. There has also been significant investment made to improve patient safety – in the last year alone we have spent an additional £10million on ward safety.

“We will continue to develop our services with safety at the forefront of our work.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure EPUT provides the safest possible care so that our patients and our local community have confidence in the services we provide.”