Southampton University Hospitals which is under the NHS trust failed to adequately supervise two doctors. Amit Misra and Rajeev Srivastava were working at Southampton General Hospital. It led to the death of the patient Sean Phillips, 31, of Kent, after a routine knee surgery. He suffered toxic shock syndrome. The hospital admitted that it had not properly managed the senior house officers.
At a sentencing hearing at Winchester Crown Court on Monday Hywel Jenkins, prosecuting, said that there is an urgent need of a proper system of supervision and evaluation of junior staff at the hospital. Mr Jenkins also said that if the hospital had organized daily visits by a specialist registrar for all patients then the chances of such an incident would have been lessened. Many of them were not happy with the system, a senior nurse wrote a letter to management on the day Mr Phillips died criticizing the management structure in the department. Another letter by a senior house officer (SHO) mentioned in detail the raising concerns about staffing levels.
In his letter he said that the units instead of having 10 SHOs on any rota had only four or five SHOs with one on administrative duties. In the end a single doctor is given the responsibility of supervising 40 patients. Mr Jenkins provided a list of improvements the trust should make to provide adequate supervision. In 2003, both doctors were convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence and were sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years. The Crown Prosecution Service also charged the trust following the trial but it pleaded guilty of failing to supervise the doctors in the trauma and orthopaedic department.