26 January 2012
The family of Philmore Mills holds candlelight vigil at Wexham Park Hospital
Philmore Mills was admitted to the intensive care unit at Wexham Park Hospital on 21 December 2011 and, on Christmas Eve, was moved to a respiratory ward. In the early hours of Tuesday 27 December, an incident occurred in which hospital security and then police were called to the ward. Mr Mills was handcuffed to the rear and restrained. He then became unresponsive. He was pronounced dead shortly afterwards after failed resuscitation attempts.
The family of Philmore Mills are preparing to bury a much loved family member. They have instructed Hickman and Rose solicitors to act for them in relation to the necessary investigations and the inquest. A second post mortem examination has been commissioned at their request.
The family look to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Wexham Park Hospital to explain to them as soon as possible why and how their very frail father died.
Those inquiries by the IPCC and HSE have now begun, though Wexham Park Hospital has not yet stated to the family whether it will investigate, and if so on what terms.
Rachel Gumbs, Mr Mills' eldest daughter said:
We are determined to get justice for our father, which means getting to the truth. We will do this for the family and for the community because what happened to our father affects us all. We trust that all investigations will be full and fearless and that there will ultimately be transparency and accountability. The wait for answers is agonising.
Kate Maynard, the family's solicitor said:
For any family to have to face the news that their loved one has died after restraint by the police is devastating, but for it to happen in a hospital setting is very hard for them to comprehend. The delay in bereaved families getting information from the investigators breeds suspicion and mistrust. The family hopes that all investigations into how Mr Mills died will be truly robust and that they will be given the answers that they need as soon as possible.
To mark the first month after Mr Mills died, the family will be holding a candle lit vigil at the main entrance of Wexham Park Hospital on Friday 27 January 2012 at 7pm. This is intended for family and friends only.
For more information please contact: Kate Maynard, Partner, Hickman & Rose Solicitors on 07812 - 974 613