Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southern Health NHS Trust admits guilt after woman's death

Teresa Colvin Image copyright Family photo
Image caption The trust pleaded guilty to failing to protect Teresa Colvin from serious self-harm

Troubled NHS trust Southern Health has admitted "failing" a woman who died in its care.

Teresa Colvin was found unconscious at Woodhaven Adult Mental Health Hospital at Calmore, Hampshire, in April 2012.

The trust pleaded guilty to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act, by failing to protect her from serious self-harm.

It is the third time the trust has appeared in court facing health and safety prosecutions in recent months.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The trust admitted the charge brought under the Health and Safety Act

Oxford magistrates sent the case to Oxford Crown Court for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

Judge Tim Pattinson, presiding, said the magistrates' court did not have sufficient sentencing powers for such a case.

He expressed his "deepest sympathies and condolences" to the husband of 45-year-old Mrs Colvin, who was present.

Family's pain

In a statement, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust said it had "failed Teresa and her family".

The trust's chief executive, Dr Nick Broughton, said: "Teresa tragically died whilst she was being cared for in one of our inpatient mental health units.

"It is clear that we should have taken action sooner to prevent this tragic outcome and undoubtedly, knowing that more could have been done will only add to the pain of Teresa's family."

In September, the trust pleaded guilty to a safety charge over the death of patient Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, who drowned in a bath at a care unit.

In October, it was ordered to pay £161,000 after a patient fell from a rooftop.

Dr Broughton added:: "The prosecutions against the trust are extremely serious and have contributed to a wholesale programme of change."

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