Oxford

Connor Sparrowhawk death: 'No remorse' from doctor

Connor Sparrowhawk Image copyright JusticeforLB
Image caption Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, who died at a Southern Health facility, had epilepsy and experienced seizures

A doctor responsible for a series of failings before a teenager died at an NHS care unit has shown no remorse, a tribunal has found.

Dr Valerie Murphy could be struck off after the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) decided her fitness to practise was impaired.

She made 39 failings before the death of Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, in 2013.

He had epilepsy and drowned in a bath after suffering a seizure at Slade House in Oxford.

The MPTS heard Mr Sparrowhawk had two suspected epileptic fits at the unit, including an earlier episode in the bath, in the weeks before his death.

Despite this, it was found Dr Murphy failed to consider the implications of allowing him to have a bath on his own with staff checking every 15 minutes.

She also failed to make any risk assessments for Mr Sparrowhawk.

'Looking for excuses'

Dr Murphy admitted to 30 failures in August, and denied misconduct, but the tribunal found a further nine were proved and 18 were not proved.

The tribunal said she had not submitted any evidence to show she had considered and reflected on them.

She appeared "to be looking for excuses" and there was a "reluctance" to admit "full responsibility", it said.

An "absence of remorse for the consequences" was also noted along with Dr Murphy's failure to apologise to Mr Sparrowhawk's mother.

The tribunal will meet in Manchester at a later date to decide what sanction, if any, will be given to Dr Murphy.

The teenager'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.

In September the trust pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety law in Mr Sparrowhawk's case.

Image caption Slade House in Oxford closed in 2014

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