Dad says hospital where daughter died should have been closed sooner

Joanna and Keith Bailey

Joanna Bailey and her father Keith. - Credit: The Bailey family

The father of one of three patients with learning disabilities who died at a Norfolk private hospital has said it should have been shut down sooner.

Joanna Bailey, 36, died at Cawston Park hospital, near Aylsham, Norfolk, in April 2018 after a seizure.

She was the first of three patients who died at the hospital, triggering a scathing serious case review commissioned by Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board.

Ms Bailey, 36, Nicholas Briant, 33, and Ben King, 32, died within just over two years of each other while they were patients at the hospital, which has since closed down.

Ms Bailey, from Romford, had been sectioned there since 2016. She had learning disabilities and health conditions, including epilepsy and sleep apnoea.

Joanna Bailey from Collier Row, Romford

Joanna Bailey. - Credit: The Bailey family

An inquest found she died of natural causes - sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

But the jury found CPR was not administered prior to emergency services arriving, there were inconsistent observations, staff had not been ensuring she used a machine which would have helped with sleep apnoea and her care plan was not accessible to staff.

Margaret Flynn, author of the serious case review, said Joanna’s care records were “unaccountably inadequate”, with only 6pc of her time at Cawston Park properly recorded.

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The records which do exist show she had asked to be given more activities, but was instead left "inactive” and “sedentary”, causing her to gain weight and potentially worsen her sleep apnoea.

Her care cost £1,000 a day and father Keith Bailey said: "These private facilities are just making big bucks.

"That money is supposed to be for specialist care and getting people better. But these places are run on a shoestring.

"Her one-to-one was because of her epilepsy, among other things, which was a major threat and ultimately did kill her. They just took the money and didn't do the care.”

In her report, Dr Flynn, who also saw the investigation into the Winterbourne View care scandal a decade ago, said: "Unless this hospital and similar units cease to receive public money, such lethal outcomes will persist."

And Mr Bailey said he was sad that his daughter's death had not triggered immediate changes.

He said: "Joanna was the first to die because of all the problems that were going on.

"But they didn't learn - because after that, there were two other deaths in similar circumstances.

"You would have thought that the Care Quality Commission (CQC)  would have done more investigation and closed down that place quicker. It might have prevented those two other deaths."

Cawston Park. Picture: EDP Library/submitted

Cawston Park hospital.

The CQC said patients’ treatment at Cawston Park was “unacceptable” and when improvements were not made, it took enforcement action.

The Jeesal Care Corporation said: "The care they received at Cawston Hospital fell far below the standards we would have expected. We are deeply sorry that we let the families down."

The North East London Clinical Commissioning Group said: "We accept the report’s findings, including the clear failings highlighted in Joanna’s care at Jeesal Cawston Park, and are committed to working with partners to ensure its recommendations are met in full."