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Board admits health and safety breach in patient suicide case

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A Welsh health board has admitted breaching health and safety laws, which led to the death of a vulnerable patient in its care.

The prosecution follows the death of Sylvan Money, 26, from Presteigne, in 2004 after she hanged herself at Bronllys hospital near Brecon, mid Wales.

Charges were made against Powys Local Health Board by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

At Llandrindod Magistrates’ Court, Dale Collins, prosecuting on behalf of the HSE, said a risk assessment was carried out in 2001 which identified a “high likelihood of injury to patients” through ligature points at the hospital Ms Money killed herself in.

It concluded that existing controls at the hospital were “not acceptable” and recommended the replacement of the ligature points with “less hazardous alternatives”.

However, before Ms Money died, the local health board failed to ensure the identified actions of the risk assessment were undertaken.

A solicitor acting on behalf of the health board, entered a guilty plea and sentencing has been adjourned until September 18, when the case will go before Merthyr Crown Court.

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