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Trust fined for Stafford Hospital Deaths.

The NHS trust which ran Stafford Hospital has been fined £500,000 for "basic" blunders linked to the deaths of four patients.

The now-defunct Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust previously admitted four charges relating to elderly people who died between 2005 and 2014.

Because the trust is defunct and has no funds, the Department of Health is paying the fine and costs of £35,000.

The judge at Stafford Crown Court compared the penalty for an organisation with no funds to a "financial revolving door".

Three of the victims died after falling at the hospital. The fourth, Lilian Tucker died after wrongly being given penicillin

Earlier in the case, brought by the Health and Safety Executive, the court was told that the trust's inadequate measures to protect patients caused the deaths of Lillian Tucker, Ivy Bunn and Patrick Daly.

Mrs Tucker, 77, was injected with penicillin in spite of her, and her relatives', repeated warnings that she was allergic to the antibiotic, the court heard.

Mrs Bunn, 90, and Mr Daly, 89, died after suffering falls following poor care, including failures to carry out risk assessments and put in place control measures.

A fourth vulnerable patient - 83-year-old Edith Bourne - also died following a fall but pathological evidence could not conclusively connect mistakes in her care to her death.

Mr Daly died a fortnight after the trust was fined £200,000 for failing diabetic patient Gillian Astbury who died at the hospital in April 2007 after not being given insulin.

The special administrator of the Mid Staffordshire Trust, Tim Rideout, said: "On behalf of the trust I would like to apologise unreservedly for the shortcomings which have come to light and to place on record our sincere contrition and remorse.

"Today, Stafford Hospital, now named County Hospital, is run by a different organisation entirely, providing very different services."