Connor Sparrowhawk's death: Doctor admits failings

  • Published
Connor SparrowhawkImage source, JusticeforLB
Image caption,
Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, who died at a Southern Health facility, had epilepsy and experienced seizures

A doctor has admitted a series of failings in treating a teenager who drowned in a bath at an NHS care unit.

Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, had an epileptic seizure while in a bath at Slade House in Oxford in July 2013.

Dr Valerie Murphy was employed by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust which ran the site.

She has accepted she did not consider the implications of allowing him to use a bath alone, although he was checked on by staff every 15 minutes.

Image caption,
Slade House closed in 2014

The 18-year-old's death on 4 July 2013 led to the discovery Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust had not properly investigated 272 unexplained deaths in its care.

The organisation - which is one of the country's largest mental health trusts - has admitted responsibility for the teenager's death and faces a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive.

Misconduct hearing

Dr Murphy has accepted 30 failings in total, including that she did not make a risk assessment for Mr Sparrowhawk using a bath or shower, and failed to develop a treatment plan when he was admitted.

The failings are being considered by a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing which started earlier in Manchester.

Several allegations have not been accepted by Dr Murphy, including a claim she did not carry out any risk assessments for Connor Sparrowhawk.

Dr Murphy could be struck off if the hearing, which is due to run until 18 August, decides her fitness to practise is impaired.

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