Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust fined after deaths of two patients

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has been fined £2m after a series of management failings led to the deaths of two vulnerable patients at different facilities owned by the Trust.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution follows the deaths of 45-year-old Teresa Colvin at a Southampton Metal Health Hospital and the death of 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk at a specialist unit in Oxford. Both centres were under the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Oxford Crown Court heard both HSE investigations found a series of management failings leading up to both deaths including a failure to control risks, and failures in planning.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, pleaded guilty to two breaches of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. For the breach relating to Teresa Colvin, the sentence was a £950,000 fine. For the breach relating to Connor Sparrowhawk’s death, t

he sentence was a fine of £1,050.000.

HSE’s deputy director of field operations Tim Galloway said: “These tragic incidents could have wholly been avoided with better supervision and planning. Instead two families are left utterly devastated and let down by those who had a duty of care for their loved ones.

“The Trust was responsible for caring for those suffering with mental health issues and caring for those with learning difficulties. On these two occasions it failed these two patients and their families.

“Our thoughts remain with Connor Sparrowhawk and Teresa Colvin’s families as they continue to come to terms with these avoidable tragedies.

“In particular, we would like to pay tribute to Dr Sara Ryan, Connor’s mother, for her continued campaigning on these tragic issues.”

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust fined after deaths of two patients
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