A healthcare firm has been heavily fined after transporting a patient in an unsecured minibus.
The court heard the “vulnerable” patient opened a door and leapt from the vehicle which was travelling from an out of hours GP appointment.
A Health & Safety Executive investigation found the company had failed to put in place suitable systems and procedures. This included inadequate risk assessments, information, instruction and training.
Further to this, they were not appropriately securing vehicle doors by using fitted child locks. These would have helped to prevent passengers from getting out until staff opened doors from the outside.
Elysium Healthcare (Farndon) pleaded guilty to breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. In addition to being fined £500,000 it was ordered to pay £67,500 in costs.
The HSE said the “wholly avoidable” incident was caused by the firm’s failure to “uphold its responsibilities to vulnerable patients by implementing simple control measures and associated safe working practices”.