North East Essex Primary Care Trust has been fined GBP 10,000 after a partially-sighted patient under its care fell from a first floor window at Clacton and District Hospital.
The 68-year-old was emotionally and mentally impaired after previously suffering four strokes and had been known to wander on the wards.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspection found that the window he fell from was able to open much further than NHS standards require and was not fitted with a window restrictor, despite a recent review by the Department of Health.
"Today’s case should serve as an alarm bell, reminding all Primary Care Trusts how vitally important it is to carry out full risk assessments and act on the findings," commented HSE inspector Kim Wicks.
The news comes soon after report that a girl left blind after a hospital failed to detect her brain tumour has been awarded GBP 1.5 million in injury compensation.