The Priory Group are fined £300,000 for breaching health and safety law

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

Following the death of Amy El-Keria in 2012, The Priory Group has been fined £300,000 by the Health and Safety Executive. Amy was 14 years old when she died at one of the Priory’s hospitals near Tunbridge Wells. The private mental health care company indicated a guilty plea after being charged under health and safety legislation. As an employer they had failed to discharge their duty to ensure people were not exposed to risk.

It was previously indicated that the penalty could be as much as £2.4 million. The Priory were also ordered to pay HSE’s costs of £65,801.38 and a victim surcharge of £120.

Mr Justice Dingemans said:-

“This is because Priory Healthcare permitted these breaches to persist over a long period of time, from the opening of the HDU in 2008 until Amy’s death in 2012. They only took action after her death. Further, Priory Healthcare failed to make appropriate changes when required to do so by the CQC. There was, in my judgment, insufficient urgency demonstrated in dealing with these problems.”

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