Southern Health to be prosecuted by Health and Safety executive

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THE Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will prosecute an NHS trust after an 18-year-old patient drowned at one of its specialist facilities.

Connor Sparrowhawk suffered an epileptic seizure while taking a bath at Slade House in Oxfordshire in 2013.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs services in Gosport, Fareham and Havant, accepted full responsibility for Mr Sparrowhawk’s death and offered his family compensation.

The HSE said it was prosecuting the trust ‘following its investigation into the death of a patient under its care’.

Julie Dawes, interim chief executive of Southern Health, said: ‘The HSE has informed the trust of its intention to prosecute in relation to the death of Connor Sparrowhawk. Connor’s death while in our care could have been prevented and we would like to once again offer our unreserved apologies to his family.

‘Since 2013 significant improvements have been made and the organisation continues to do everything it can to improve the quality and safety of services.’

As reported in The News Southern Health has been scrutinised after failing to investigate the deaths of hundreds of people with learning difficulties or mental health care needs it dealt with.

Last year bosses were told by the Care Quality Commission to make ‘significant improvements’ to protect vulnerable patients in their care.