Criminal investigation at a Birmingham hospital after a mental health patient was hit by a train

A Birmingham hospital is facing a criminal investigation following the death of a ‘beautiful’ young graduate. Matthew Casby was hit by a train and died hours after he managed to escape, although he should have been under constant surveillance.

A Birmingham University graduate, aged just 23, was being treated at the Woodbourne Primary Hospital in Harborne but was considered at high risk of fleeing, an earlier inquiry had heard. But he was left unattended in a courtyard to escape from the lower fence, which had caused concern after his last escape.

Care Quality Commission investigators are now investigating whether the provider and the director of the registered hospital committed a criminal offense at the time of Matthew’s death.

Read more:Matthew Cassby, the ‘beautiful young man’, died after being left unattended at Prior Woodburn Hospital.

A CQC spokesman confirmed that it was “currently conducting a formal criminal investigation” into the death in order to “establish that the provider and the registered manager had committed a criminal offense”.

He added: “That investigation is ongoing and we will report further as soon as we are able to do so.” The investigation comes after a two-week investigation into Matthew’s death earlier this year due to hospital negligence.

The NHS patient, who suffered his first mental health crisis, was sent to Woodburn after being cesarean section under the Mental Health Act for his own protection. He was sectioned in September 2020 after being found running on train lines in Oxford. He had never been treated for a mental illness before.

He was diagnosed with a suspected psychiatric condition and told doctors he could hear voices. But within 60 hours of being sent to the hospital, he escaped from a low fence and was not cared for for several minutes. Shortly afterwards, he was struck by a train and died.

A Birmingham hospital patient has been hit by a train – a “low risk” after escaping from a mental health hospital. Matthew Casby, 23, died in 2020 after meeting police on a railway track in Oxfordshire.
(Photo: Sunday Mercury)

During his year-long investigation into his son’s death, Richard Casby, 61, a London-based communications consultant, discovered that other patients had previously escaped from the same low fence – still hospitalized. No action was taken by the director to secure the courtyard. .

Speaking after the news of the criminal investigation, Mr Casby said: “Matthew was a decent, handsome and intelligent young man who was thwarted by every institution that wanted to protect him during the worst crisis of his youth.

“The catalog of failures that led to Matthew’s death was horrific. The Prairie Group and its executives are ultimately being held accountable for their criminal negligence.

“All I want to do is expose the truth and prevent it from happening to anyone else.”

Matthew’s inquiry revealed that it was not safe for him to leave unattended in the courtyard where he had jumped from a low fence and that staff had failed to improve security in the area after previous patients had escaped.

The jury condemned the poor record of care, inadequate risk assessment and lack of courtyard observation policy. 18 months after Matthew’s death, Mrs. Louise Hunt, Senior Coroner of Birmingham and Solihull, was so concerned about the continuing threat to patients in Woodburn Practice that she issued a report on future mortality prevention.

He also demanded that the health department issue guidelines for the minimum height of the fence at such facilities. He said that standards should be introduced along with comprehensive guidance on security in areas outside the mental health units.

CQC is also considering a separate corporate prosecution for the broader parent group, which earns at least m 400m annually from public sector contracts for the care of mentally ill patents. A Prairie spokesman said: “In accordance with its legal authority, the CQC investigates a large number of cases in the UK.

“If Matthew Cassby’s care is questioned by the CQC, Priory and its staff will cooperate fully and it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

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