Deaths at St. Andrews Hospital, Northampton

St Andrews Hospital, Northampton.

An inquest into the death of 41 year old William Johnson, who had lived in St Andrews for 18 years, heard 3 other men on his ward had predeceased him, exhibiting  similar symptoms and on the similar medication.

The first death was on October 23rd 2010, second March 31st 2011, third April 3rd 2011 and then, Mr Johnson on May 31st 2011.

4 deaths, half the 8 bedded ward, in just 8 months.

This ward was costing the tax payer at least £ 96,000 per week tax free of NHS public money.

A staggering 120,000 a week, as untaxed, for an 8 bed ward, where half the patients died in 8 months with same deaths and nothing done.

Yet despite this being NHS OUR money nothing has been done

And this is allowed to be MHA treament,

why did William die? For his care costing then over £10,000, A WEEK.

A Coroner, delivered a narrative verdict .

And he refused to reopen the inquest.

The only other inquest into the previous deaths had recorded death by ‘natural causes’.

Narrative verdicts were created in 2004, and merely describe the circumstances of a death not how it was caused.

Dr Adewale Aromolaran, the senior doctor, in charge of the ward, when Mr Johnson died told the inquest,

He was not involved ‘in any discussions about the three previous deaths’,

Despite Mr Johnson’s similar medication and similar  physical symptoms.

Yet ‘Parallels’ between the deaths were noted by the inquest.

However, Dr Aromolaram was made aware, of the second, and, third deaths, on his becoming a member of the ward ‘team’.

But despite the quick succession of deaths, the last 2 men to die before Mr Johnson, dying within four days of each other, and Mr Johnson, ‘ vomiting large amounts of body salts.’

As his organs, slowly, filled up with a faeces impaction, a common condition in the autistic per se and a side effect of the high dosages of at least two different antipsychotics.

The doctor alarmingly, gave evidence at the inquest that;

“There were no discussions. No talks at all about those deaths that I was involved in”.

All men were medicated with clozaphine which is known to cause constipation.

Click to access serioius-gastrointestinal-adverse-effects-of-clozapine.pdf

So, the managing doctor, of an 8 bedded ward where 3 deaths had already occurred in only 7 months before he became part of the ward management team was not informed of the first death, nor discussed the similarities of the second and third.

Nor, even, more crucially, did the doctor connect this latest death with the  two deaths, less than 2 months before William Johnson, who like William would have been presumably also ‘vomiting up large amounts of body salts’.

And, worse stilldespite a 3rd death, the hospital appeared to have taken no precautions, to find out the reasons, nor change the treatment of the others in the ward.

The medication was continued in the same high dosage to people incapacitated, throwing up  permanently in bed.

 How can this be treatment under MHA section-  ? And interminable except on death of patient ?

And why did no one check on the physical health of these successively dying men as they were obviously seriously ill, throwing up and no doubt in constant agony.


The doctor gave evidence, that it had been impossible even to ‘try’ to examine Mr Johnson’s abdomen during a ‘routine’ health check as he would not let the examination proceed.

How likely is it that a man, bed ridden full of chemical coshes, vomiting up salt, would/ could/should  have not allowed a hand on his bowel area easily able to pick up such a serious impaction, which should in any event, should have been picked up from vomiting salt, the side effects of medication and three previous deaths in similar circumstances in less than 8 months ?

And if continual medication can be enforced why not a life saving examination ?

Did no one ask why all these men were vomiting up body salts ?

And, in any event, would such a ‘routine’ health check have checked for and detected an impaction. ?

And, why, was only a ‘routine’ health check, thought sufficient, when this man was obviously dying, in the same manner, in the same ward, as his 3 fellow ward occupants, in quick succession ?.

How many ‘routine’ health checks, are tick boxed refused, and, who actually performs them ?

On this basic safety/ care issue, staggeringly, Dr Aromolaram, was not aware  of any hospital strategy in place, if a health check was refused.

St Andrews glossy PR is on the internet

The tax payer, was, paying at least £9,000 per week for this ‘treatment’, when charitable tax exemption is factored in.

We do not know the figures that is charged and paid for with our public money.

The Priory and Cygnet charge a minimum of £900 per night and up to £12,500 a week for an autistic 15 year old in an acute mental health bed.

See the structure of the provision and ward system here:

Click to access St%20%20Andrew’s%20Accounts%20for%202013%20to%202014%20(reduced%20size%20for%20web).pdf

St Andrews, had a turnover of £187.5million in 2013/14.

And, its chief executive at the time was earning £675,000 per annum.

The service was private, and commissioned and paid for by NHS England.

3 learning disabled, a day, died of inadequate NHS care, last year- that’s a staggering 1200, and, it was probably more this year.

Mencap dismayed by lack of progress to stop avoidable deaths of people with a learning disability

And, billions of profit has been made from their care.

Care Quality Commission Report 2014 see summary – Requires Improvement.

See summary.

Since the deaths St Andrews have been forced to acknowledge the role medication might play


    1. I am so glad he did.

      But its no comfort to all those who are still there, and those that did not.

      And, the fact that ‘the service/treatment’, costs £4500 per week tax free, and appears completely unaccountable, even for deaths of those not physically ill.

      Thank you for your comment

      best wishes to you and your son.



  1. ADUK (autism Dads) feels great anger and sadness at how families and children such as these filmed for dispatches program are treated within the so called care system.The UK government and local governments should be made to watch this program as they need to hold there heads in shame they are a disgrace when it comes to supporting and caring for people in need I feel it is time to demand better care and not lip service.ADUK highly commendS the parents of these children who have passed god bless them.


    1. Thank you for your comment, but I’m afraid I have to say, that sadly The Dispatches programme appears another piece of propaganda, as does Panorama’s Winterbourne, to move all those in public NHS care to for profit local HSCT care.

      Albeit St Andrews is a charity; charities will eventually be replaced by for profit monopoly care .

      Already, all small providers have be gradually bought up, in multimillion pound buy outs to their managers, so that nearly all NHS Mental Care services are now provided by either US Acadia Group or US Universal Health Services

      This programme will aid these monopolies local provision and help them take over St Andrews provision.

      It will not change the abusive ‘treatment’ or restraints, see below link for the comments of Lifeways taken over by Cambian, now taken over by US Acadia Group ‘s workers comment on restraint used.

      I fear this is, as Winterbourne View Scandal exposure was, a cynical manipulation of the disabled and their families, supported by apparently all mental health charities and campaigns.

      All that will result from it, is that things wil get even worse, and ever more secretive, as the abuse in these monopoly for profit providers will not be revealed, either in the media or newspapers, as I feel, they were largely revealed to get more money for private and move public to private, albeit, as with Winterbourne, they occurred in private institutions. And these are even less accountable than the NHS public .

      These providers have their own ‘specialist hospitals’, where at any time, the residents of their care homes can be removed to either under MHA section or MCA ‘best interests’.

      See posts below for further information.

      I wish I were wrong, but there can be no change in the care and treatment of the LD/autistic, as the only care allowed and enforced, as neither parents or patients have any choice, as it is enforced under the MHA and MCA, is as in St Andrews, read blog posts on Amy, Christian, George and Thomas who were treated by these two mental health carer groups.

      Thank you for your comment, and I wish I could be more positive, but after so long and so many campaigns, ‘exposure’ and politics, the outlook for the LD/autistic and indeed all mental health patients continues to worsen.

      Best Wishes Finola


  2. Reblogged this on finolamoss and commented:

    St Andrews Hospital, Northampton made a profit tax free as a ‘charity’ of 187.5 millions over 5 years ago, now far more ?

    98% OF money appears to be public NHS

    A director earns more than 675,000 A YEAR
    yet 4 patients died within months with same symtoms in an 8 bed ward

    THE new consultant overseer of ward stated no previous discussions of deaths before his take over.
    All died of natural causes
    Inquest into one not reopened
    No investigation into ST ANDREWS care to date other than TV who appeared not to be able to gain entry.
    Even if accountability and made public. ST ANDREWS is ripe for corporate venture capital take over, where all could be hidden by commercial confidentiality


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