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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 January 2006, 17:37 GMT
Trust guilty over death doctors
Rajeev Srivastava
Dr Rajeev Srivastava was given a six month suspension
A hospital trust has pleaded guilty to failing to adequately supervise two junior doctors who killed a patient.

Sean Phillips, 31, of Southampton, died after a knee operation in June 2000 at Southampton General Hospital.

In 2003, doctors Amit Misra, 35, and Rajeev Srivastava, 40, were convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust admitted it had not properly managed the two doctors. The case was adjourned for sentencing on 10 April.

Annabel Grant, the former partner of Sean Phillips, told the BBC she was pleased that the trust had admitted liability.

She said the circumstances surrounding Sean's death should never have happened, and she believes it is right that the hospital should face a fine.

Mr Phillips died after the pair failed to tackle the obvious signs of a serious illness he had picked up following the surgery, the court had heard.

Doctors banned

They failed to take blood samples, give life-saving antibiotics or consult senior colleagues.

In November last year the General Medical Council (GMC) banned Dr Misra from practising medicine for 12 months and Dr Srivastava for six months.

On Wednesday, the Recorder of Winchester, Judge Michael Brodrick, sitting at Winchester Crown Court, was told the trust was pleading guilty to an amended charge that concentrated only on the supervision of the doctors in the trauma and orthopaedic department.

The trust now has three months to prepare its mitigation before sentencing takes place
Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust

The initial charge had included allegations of failing to take up a reference for Misra, failing to implement a system of ward rounds, failing to have proper hand-over meetings for staff in the department and not having a policy of encouraging nursing staff to report concerns about patients.

The judge said: "I would not want it thought that confining the indictment to this particular aspect that there was not a need to conduct a wide examination of what went wrong and put matters right in the future."

He said the case had implications for the whole NHS but any fine levelled at the trust would have to be taken from patient care.

In a statement the trust said: "The trust now has three months to prepare its mitigation before sentencing takes place on 10 April, at which time the trust will explain in detail action it has taken since June 2000.

"We would wish to make it clear that although the issue to which the trust has pleaded guilty was identified following the tragic death of Mr Sean Phillips, the trust's plea of guilty is on the basis that this issue did not cause his death."

Watch the reaction of patient Sean Phillips' father

Death doctors given bans by GMC
22 Nov 05 |  Hampshire
GMC delays patient death ruling
18 Nov 05 |  Hampshire

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