THE LARGEST health board in Scotland has been fined £235,000 after a man took his own life while in its care on 22 January 2020.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) pleaded guilty at Paisley Sheriff Court to a number of failings, including not having a suitable risk assessment in place.

Martin Donnelly, 36, who had a history of mental illness, had been medically detained at the South Ward of Dykebar Hospital in Paisley, two days before his death.

An investigation by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established there had been failures by NHSGGC to ensure existing ligature points at the hospital were suitably and sufficiently risk assessed, and the patients under its care were not exposed to them.

NHSGGC had relied upon clinical measures, such as the assessment and observation of Mr Donnelly, rather than physical measures, to ensure his safety.

The NHS-issued guidance aligns with the terms of Regulation 4 of The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and its ‘General Principles of Prevention’, which require the risks to be combated at source. In this case, that would have involved removing the certain taps and other ligature points, or replacing them with suitable alternatives.

NHSGGC had a duty to keep Mr Donnelly safe and failed to do so. All reasonably practicable measures were not taken by NHSGGC, which could have prevented Mr Donnelly from taking his own life.

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