NHS trust fined £2million over patient deaths
Southern Health NHS Foundation has been fined £2m for failures that resulted in the deaths of two patients.
The trust had admitted breaching health and safety regulations in relation to the deaths of Connor Sparrowhawk and Teresa Colvin.
Connor was found drowned in a bath in 2013. He was 18 years old and had suffered an epileptic fit.
Ms Colvin, 45, died after being found unconscious at a clinic in Hampshire in 2012.
Southern Health admitted to “systemic failures” and pleaded guilty in 2017 to breaching health and safety laws.
Passing sentence today at Oxford Crown Court, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said each death was an “unnecessary human tragedy.”
The trust will pay £950,000 for Mrs Colvin’s death and just over £1 million for that of Connor Sparrowhawk.
Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said it was a “regrettable fact” Dr Sara Ryan, Mr Sparrowhawk’s mother, and Roger Colvin, Theresa Colvin’s husband, had to campaign to uncover problems at the trust.
The judge paid tribute in particular to Dr Ryan who had to endure “entirely unjustified criticism” during her JusticeforLB campaign – named after her son’s nickname Laughing Boy.
A victim impact statement from Dr Ryan made for “almost unbearable reading,” he said.
He acknowledged the trust’s early indication it would plead guilty and said Southern Health had made it completely clear it would not attempt to shift responsibility to individuals.
In its submissions to the court, Southern Health acknowledged the deaths were “entirely preventable” and were “a matter of significant regret” it did not address its failures quicker.