Cawston Park: Hospital owner defends its residential homes

The company that ran a private hospital where failings led to a patient’s death has admitted “lessons can be learned” but need not result in “sweeping changes” at its residential homes.

Ben King, 32, died in July 2020 at Jeesal Cawston Park, Norfolk, which has since closed.

A coroner’s Prevention of Future Deaths Report raised concerns about his care.

But Jeesal Residential Care Services said not all lessons learned would apply to its residential homes.

An inquest in July this year concluded Mr King died from respiratory failure, but identified failings in his treatment, including not diagnosing a breathing disorder.

A subsequent report by Jacqueline Lake, senior coroner for Norfolk, raised concerns including Mr King’s weight gain, dietary training and advice, record-keeping and a lack of regular exercise for patients.

“Hospital systems and processes are often not relevant to the way services
are delivered for our residents.”

Despite these failings, it said, the directors of Jeesal Akman Care Corporation, which controls Jeesal Residential Care Services and another company called Jeesal Holdings, were still serving on the boards of those two companies.

The coroner raised concern that those companies “provide residential care to persons with mental health illness, learning disabilities, complex needs and physical disability” and therefore serve similar patients to Cawston Park.


Cawston Park Hospital

image source, Geograph/Evelyn Simak

However, in its reply, Jeesal Residential Care Services said those directors “do not have any day-to-day responsibilities” for the running of its residential service.

It said responsibility fell instead to a manager with 40 years’ health and social care experience, who “is not a shareholder in any Jeesal company or subsidiary”.

It said it had been carrying out a review of each resident in its homes.

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Mr King, of Norfolk, had been detained at Cawston Park under the Mental Health Act in 2018.

He had Down’s Syndrome, severe learning disability and sleep apnoea.

His weight increased substantially during his time there.

On 28 July 2020 he was given a sedative after showing signs of agitation, but felt unwell in the early hours of the following day.

Emergency services were called after he became unresponsive, but he died at Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital.


Joanna Bailey

image source, Family Photo

A Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board report said Mr King’s death, and those of fellow Cawston Park patients, Joanna Bailey, 36, and Nicholas Briant, 33, both of London, should prompt a review to prevent further “lethal outcomes” at similar facilities.

Jeesal has previously said it would no longer run any further hospital services.

The company said: “While lessons can be learned from any inquiry, it does not necessarily follow that sweeping changes should be made in residential services unless those changes emanated from a review of residential services elsewhere.”

It said its residential services “are well ahead of the workings of a hospital setting”, adding: “Hospital systems and processes are often not relevant to the way services are delivered for our residents.”

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