Guernsey

Lauren Ellis Guernsey death: Nurses 'missed six checks'

Lauren Ellis
Image caption Rory McDermott, 32, and Naomi Prestidge, 31, are on trial over the 2017 death of 22-year-old mental health campaigner Lauren Ellis

Six observation checks were not carried out on a woman in Guernsey who killed herself, a court has heard.

Lauren Ellis, 22, was found dead at the Oberlands mental health unit on 12 October 2017.

Two mental health nurses, Rory McDermott, 32, and Naomi Prestidge, 30, are being tried for manslaughter by gross negligence after allegedly failing to check on her for 90 minutes.

They both deny the charges at the island's Royal Court.

Miss Ellis was a mental health campaigner on the island and had set up an online support group.

A post-mortem examination concluded that she died as a result of ligature strangulation.

'Not to worry'

The court heard the nurses failed to conduct the required checks on Miss Ellis every 15 minutes, missing six in total before the discovery of her body.

The checks were prescribed by Miss Ellis's psychiatrist Rahul Bhintade.

The last check was made at 01:00 BST and Ms Ellis' body was discovered at 02:42 BST.

The two nurses have admitted they were not busy during the period and CCTV footage of the ward showed the defendants mainly in the office.

Miss Ellis's mother had spoken to Mr McDermott just before midnight to express concern over her daughter's state of mind, having just spent an hour on the phone with her.

In response to her warning she told the court he said: "Not to worry; we'll keep a close eye on her."

Miss Ellis had a history of self-harming and suffered from emotionally unstable personality disorder, characterised by rapid mood swings, the court heard.

She had been admitted to A&E several times for self-harming in the days before her admission to the unit which she had agreed to in order to break that cycle.

The trial continues.

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