Essex

Rochford Hospital: Staff skipped check on troubled teen

Essex Coroner's Court Image copyright Google
Image caption The hearing in Chelmsford was told a vital hourly check on Kelly Campbell, 17, had been missed

A teenage girl found hanged at Rochford Hospital could potentially have been saved, an inquest heard.

Kelly Campbell, 17, who had bulimia and a history of self-harm and suicidal thoughts, had been detained under the Mental Health Act.

The teenager from Basildon had been under staff observation but in the hours leading up to her death a vital check was "overlooked".

She was pronounced dead at about 02:45 BST on 12 February.

During a hearing at Essex Coroner's Court, Alan Wright, a senior support worker on the Poplar Adolescent Unit, said he had been responsible for patient safety on the night Kelly died.

Mr Wright admitted signing a form to say Kelly's hourly observations had been carried out but later said he "got the 01:00 check confused with the 00:00".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The teenager was found hanging in her room at Rochford Hospital in February

He told the court: "I am normally tough on checks but all I can surmise is that on that particular night, the check simply got overlooked.

"I had lots of paperwork to do and simply got wrapped up in what I was doing. There is no excuse for it."

Mr Wright, who now carries alarms to remind him to carry out ward checks, added that what happened to Kelly "is not something that will ever happen again".

The teenager was admitted to Rochford Hospital on 4 December following a referral from an eating disorder team.

Dr Joshua Westbury, a child and adolescent psychiatrist on Poplar, said Kelly was an "unusually challenging" patient who was "ambivalent" about her recovery.

He told the hearing he "felt stuck" when it came to treating her and said it was "difficult to see a way forward".

Rochford Hospital is operated by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.

The inquest continues.

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