top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Spicer

Death of psychiatric patient: health and safety prosecution: Scottish Health Board fined

Death of psychiatric patient: Scottish Health Board fined

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service v NHS Ayrshire and Arran (2015) Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, October 27

HNS Ayrshire and Arran has been fined following the death of a psychiatric patient in its care.

Significant points of the case

  • In August 2010 Gary Niven, a patient with a history of depression, hanged himself in the A&E department of Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock. He died a few days later.

  • The risk of psychiatric patients being left alone was identified by the Health Board. It had procedures for staff to follow but these were not followed for Mr Niven.

  • Mr Niven had been taken by ambulance to the hospital after saying he was feeling suicidal and had already attempted to hang himself. He was taken to a room where the doors were always left open so that he could be observed. A charge nurse noticed that the doors were closed and Mr Niven was found inside, having made a ligature from the arm of his jumper.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran was fined £100,000, reduced to £67,000 on the basis of an early plea of guilty, under section 3, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of non-employees.

Recent Posts

See All


Limitation Case TVZ v Manchester City Football Club Ltd [2022] EWHC 7, Hugh Court Facts Eight men who had been sexually abused by a football coach in the 1980s claimed compensation in negligence fro

Crown immunity and the rule of law (3)

Civil proceedings Until 1948 the Crown could not be made a party to a civil action. This was an offshoot of the principle of sovereign immunity. The Crown Proceedings Act 1947 changed this rule. The C

Crown immunity and the rule of law (2)

Recent examples In June 2018 prison officers were taking part in a petrol bomb training exercise. This was part of an eight-day commanders course at the National Tactical Response Group training facil


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page