The Priory hospital chain is being prosecuted over the death of an NHS patient who absconded while in its care.
An inquest jury last year found the 23-year-old’s death was contributed by neglect after hearing how he was left unattended in a courtyard for five minutes, allowing him to scale a 7ft 6in fence.
Mr Caseby died outside University Station in the city the next morning, near where he had graduated with a first class history degree in 2018. At the time, his father Richard was searching for him just 200 yards away, exploring a hunch that his son may have sought refuge near his old hall of residence.
The UK’s health regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), launched an investigation into Mr Caseby’s care last year and has now charged the Priory Group with two criminal offences under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.
Matthew Caseby, a personal trainer, was hit by a train within days of being admitted to Priory Woodbourne in Birmingham , after being detained under the Mental Health Act
The Priory Healthcare Group is accused of failing to provide safe care and treatment resulting in avoidable harm, and exposing a patient to a significant risk of harm.
Mr Caseby, from South London, had been detained in Oxfordshire after police responded to a report of a trespasser on the railway.
He was assessed and sectioned for his own safety the next day, then transferred to the hospital 80 miles north in Birmingham because that was where he had last registered with a GP, while at university.
Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust commissions psychiatric beds from the Priory Group.
The private hospital group is due to appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court later this month.
The penalty for the offences is an unlimited fine.
Mr Caseby’s father, Richard, a communications consultant who campaigned for a prosecution, said: ‘These have been long, hard years since Matthew died.
‘I am relieved that the Priory Group is finally being held accountable and the CQC is prosecuting the company for offences associated with the death of my son.
‘But the proceedings bring no real satisfaction. A trial just prolongs the day when my family can grieve Matthew’s loss quietly and privately.’
Priory Woodbourne in Birmingham. An inquest jury last year found the 23-year-old’s death was contributed by neglect after hearing how he was left unattended in a courtyard for five minutes, allowing him to scale a 7ft 6in fence
Last year the CQC prosecuted Care UK Community Partnerships over the death of an 86-year-old care home resident in East Grinstead, Surrey, who choked on his lunch.
The company was fined £1.5million after it admitted exposing the patient to significant risk of harm, which ultimately led to his death.
The Priory has been criticised during inquests and in internal Priory documents for failings in the care of 32 patients who have died since 2012.
In January a jury found the Priory Hospital Cheadle Royal had failed mental health blogger Beth Matthews, 26.
Miss Matthews died after swallowing a poisonous substance she was able to order online whilst being treated for a personality disorder at the hospital.
An inquest jury concluded the NHS patient, who told staff the package contained protein powder, died from suicide contributed to by neglect.
A CQC spokesman said: ‘We are taking criminal enforcement action against Priory Healthcare Limited for failing to provide safe care and treatment resulting in avoidable harm to a patient at Woodbourne Priory Hospital, a mental health service in Edgbaston, Birmingham and/or exposing the patient to a significant risk of avoidable harm, contrary to regulations 12(1) and 22(2)(a) and (b) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.’
A spokesman for the Priory Group could not comment because criminal proceedings were active.