NHS trust fined £2m after patients’ deaths

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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AN NHS trust has been fined £2m following the ‘avoidable deaths’ of two patients at a heavily-criticised care unit.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust appeared at Oxford Crown Court yesterday for sentencing after pleading guilty to two counts of failing to discharge its duty relating to their care.

It follows the deaths of Teresa Colvin, in 2012, and teenager Connor Sparrowhawk, in 2013, at Slade House care and assessment unit in Oxford.

Justice Stuart-Smith said the fine was justified by the ‘terrible consequences’ of the trust’s actions.

Southern Health provides mental health and community care across the south including in Gosport, Havant and Fareham.

Dr Nick Broughton, chief executive, said: ‘Southern Health fully accept the failings. I feel deeply saddened and am truly sorry that we let them down with such devastating consequences. Their deaths were avoidable, entirely preventable and should never have occurred.

‘Personally, and on behalf of the board, I apologise unreservedly.’