NHS trust and ward manager charged with manslaughter over death of mental health patient

22-year-old Alice Figueiredo died at Goodmayes Hospital on 7 July 2015, reports Josh Mellor, Local Democracy Reporter

Alice Figueiredo died while a patient at Goodmayes Hospital in 2015, Credit: Family of Alice Figueiredo

An East London NHS mental health trust and a former ward manager have been charged with manslaughter for the death of a patient eight years ago.

At the time of her death in 2015, Alice Figueiredo, 22, was a patient at Goodmayes Hospital, which is run by North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT).

Yesterday (7th September), the Met confirmed it has charged NELFT with corporate manslaughter and former ward manager Benjamin Aninakwa, 52, with gross negligence manslaughter.

Aninakwa is a registered nurse and in August this year was listed online as head of NELFT’s “patient safety and incident team”.

NELFT provides in-patient psychiatric care at Goodmayes Hospital and mental health care services for residents of Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Havering and Barking & Dagenham.

The circumstances of Alice’s death have not been released in the police’s statement.

According to the Health Service Journal, the trust is the second NHS provider to ever be charged with corporate manslaughter.

The Met investigated Alice’s death for six years before passing a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in 2021.

The CPS considered the evidence for a further two years before authorising charges.

In total, the Met says it has charged the trust with two offences, corporate manslaughter and an offence under section three of the Health and Safety at Work Act, which covers an employer’s duty to protect people from risk.

It has charged Aninakwa with gross negligence manslaughter and an offence under section seven of the Health and Safety at Work Act, which covers an employee’s duty to protect people from risk.

They are expected to appear at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on 4th October.

A spokesperson for the NELFT said: “We would like to extend our most sincere and deepest condolences to Alice’s family.

“We’re fully cooperating with the Metropolitan Police and CPS at this time.

“We are unable to go into further details to protect the integrity of the ongoing legal process.”