Mum-of-six with sepsis died after hospital ‘failed to provide safe treatment’

An NHS Trust has admitted failing to provide safe care to a mother-of-six who died in hospital while receiving treatment.

Natalie Billingham, 33, was being treated for sepsis at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, West Midlands, in 2018 when she lost her life.

Kaysie-Jane Robinson, 14, also died from the same disease at the hospital.

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust has now pleaded guilty to failing to provide treatment in a safe way, resulting in harm, in relation to their deaths at a hearing at Dudley Magistrates’ Court.

Natalie, from Tipton, and Kaysie-Jane, from Netherton, died respectively in February and March 2018.

The Trust pleaded guilty to two breaches of the 2008 Health and Social Care Act, which it agreed posed a “significant risk of avoidable harm” to them.

The charges came after an investigation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) into the clinical care provided to the devoted mum and the teenager.

Ian Bridge, counsel for the CQC, told a previous hearing that both patients had been treated for sepsis.

The Trust’s lawyer, Paul Spencer, said its guilty plea in respect of Ms Billingham was entered on the basis that it did not accept its failings caused her death.

But Mr Spencer said the Trust did accept that the “poor care and treatment” of Kaysie-Jane had caused her death.

Adjourning the case, which was not opened by the prosecution, District Judge Graham Wilkinson described the proceedings as “the most serious case this court is likely to deal with in many a year”.

Judge Wilkinson said: “I am grateful that we have made significant progress this afternoon.

“I am sure the families will be grateful as well.”

A further case management hearing will take place at the same court on September 3.

Following the pleas, the Trust issued an apology to both families.

A spokesman for The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust has pleaded guilty today for failing to provide safe care in 2018 to two of our patients, Kaysie-Jane Robinson and Natalie Billingham.

“We are deeply sorry that our care did not meet the high standards Kaysie-Jane and Natalie and their families had a right to expect and did not reflect the values of our Trust.

“Today’s hearing is an important part of the process that has investigated what happened, provides an opportunity to reiterate our apology to Kaysie-Jane and Natalie’s families, and demonstrates the major steps we have taken to invest in and improve our services since 2018.

“We have been open and sincere over the last three years about what went wrong, what we have learned and how we have improved.

“The Trust continues to work closely with CQC and we want to reassure our patients and the public that the hospital provides a safe and compassionate environment for their care.”

A further case management hearing will take place at the same court on September 3.