- First ever corporate manslaughter case against an NHS trust collapsed last week
- Prosecution related to the death of primary school teacher Frances Cappuccini, who died in October 2012 after giving birth by emergency caesarean section
- Trust has accepted some shortcomings in care and a clinical negligence claim was made
The Crown Prosecution Service said it will review its handling of the corporate manslaughter case against Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust.
A crown court trial, which was the first of its kind against an NHS trust, collapsed last week, after the judge found there was no case to answer.
A consultant anaesthetist at the Kent trust, who was being prosecuted for gross negligence manslaughter, was also cleared.
A CPS spokesman said: “Following the outcome of the trial, the CPS will now carry out a review of the handling of the case, this is not uncommon in these types of cases.”
Both prosecutions related to the death of primary school teacher Frances Cappuccini, 30, who died in October 2012 after giving birth by emergency caesarean section at the trust’s Pembury Hospital.
In his ruling, the judge described some of the evidence put forward by the prosecution’s expert witness as “perverse”, and said the case against Errol Cornish was “as far removed from a gross negligence manslaughter case as it is possible to be”.
There was “no question that Ms Cappuccini should not have died”, the judge said, but stressed a trial was a “very different thing” to a public inquiry into the death.
Following an internal investigation into the case, the trust recognised there were aspects of care that “fell short of the standards that the trust would expect”.
The NHS Litigation Authority confirmed to HSJ there has been a civil claim for clinical negligence in relation to the case.
HSJ asked the trust for a copy of its internal investigation report, or a summary, but it refused to provide either.
The General Medical Council said it continues to investigate the conduct of the two doctors involved in Ms Cappunccini’s care. It has imposed an interim suspension order on Dr Nadeem Azeez, who did not stand trial because he had returned to Pakistan. Dr Cornish is subject to a conditions of practise order.
Kent Police said the case has been referred back to the coroner, who will decide whether to reopen an inquest.