'Lessons not learned' on troubled Priory Hospital ward

Amy El-Keria Image copyright Family handout / PA
Image caption Amy El-Keria was found hanged in her room in November 2012

The mother of a teenager who killed herself at a private psychiatric hospital has said she is "devastated that lessons have not been learned".

Amy El-Keria, 14, was found hanged in her room at Priory Hospital Ticehurst House in East Sussex in 2012.

Similar concerns were found by the Care Quality Commission, which rated the children's ward inadequate in December.

Tania El-Keria said the Priory was putting "profit before safety" but it said it has taken "significant steps".

Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Tania El-Keria said things are not changing

Amy had a complex mix of mental health issues including ADHD, compulsive obsessive disorder and Tourette's.

The Priory Group was fined £300,000 last year over its failings in relation to Amy.

However the inspection found the ward continued to have serious quality of care problems, many of which were flagged up at Amy's inquest, including a lack of properly trained staff, unsafe practices and dangerous ligature points.

Ms El-Keria said: "It's like losing Amy all over again.

"We fought for justice for Amy, and to stop this from happening to other people's loved ones.

"It's not stopping, it's not changing, it's like they get a slap on the hand and they're still getting away with it."

Image copyright The Priory Group
Image caption Inspectors highlighted serious concerns at the Priory

Deborah Coles from the charity Inquest, which provides expertise on state related deaths and their investigation said it calls into question "whether the Priory Group should be stripped of their contract".

A Priory spokesman said: "Despite significant investment, we continue to experience considerable staffing challenges on the wards due to well-documented national shortages particularly in relation to experienced nurses and psychiatrists.

"However... we have taken immediate and significant steps to address the concerns raised.

"We remain confident of restoring the service to its previous 'good' rating in line with the overall rating for the rest of the hospital."

Follow BBC South East on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram. Send your story ideas to

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites