Boston

Trial hears lifting hoist instructions did not warn against removal of support pad after patient fatally impaled

Operating instructions for a lifting hoist involved in the death of a Lincolnshire hospital patient did not tell users not to remove a pad by lifting it off its bracket, a jury heard.

John Biggadike died in 2012 when he fell while in a lifting hoist at Boston Pilgrim Hospital and was impaled on part of the equipment.

Mr Biggadike, who lived in Spalding, suffered catastrophic internal injuries when he fell onto a protruding metal post while being aided by a hoist.

The prosecution alleged that hospital staff were not adequately trained or supervised in the use of the hoist and had removed a knee support pad which should have remained in place.

But the defence suggested Mr Biggadike’s death was not caused by failings in training but by a failure to act after a “serious incident” involving a hoist at a hospital in Leicester in 2007.

On the first day of the defence case the jury at Lincoln Crown Court heard evidence from Sarah Vincent representing the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Giving evidence, Mrs Vincent admitted the Leicester incident was “serious” but conceeded the subsequent MHRA investigation was limited to questioning the hoist manufacturer’s own investigation and making sure the hospital trust had the instructions for use of the hoist.

Under further questioning Mrs Vincent admitted the operating instructions supplied with the hoist used in Boston did not tell users not to remove the pad by lifting it off its bracket.

She also confirmed the same instructions did not tell users not to remove the pad by unscrewing it.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust denies breach of health and safety regulations by exposing non-employees to risk by failing to train, supervise and monitor its employees in relation to the safe use of the lifting hoist on dates between July 2001 and April 2012.

The trial continues.

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Hospital patient died after being impaled on metal post which ‘penetrated his rectum’, jury hears