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.

This story is published by Waltham Forest Echo, Waltham Forest's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.

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.”

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

In celebration of Indie News Week, Public Interest News Foundation's Indie News Fund will match fund all donations, including new annual supporter subscriptions for the month of June.

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month.  £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or annually 

More Information about donations