Southern Health fined £2 million over deaths of two patients

Source : BBC News


An NHS trust that admitted failing two patients who died in its care, one in a bath, has been fined £2 million.

Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, drowned in Oxford in 2013. Theresa Colvin, 45, died in Hampshire in 2012.

Southern Health admitted to “systemic failures” and pleaded guilty in 2017 to breaching health and safety laws.

Passing sentence at Oxford Crown Court, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said each death was an “unnecessary human tragedy”.

‘Unbearable reading’

He 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.

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