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Oxford units to remain closed in wake of teenager's death

An NHS facility in Oxford that shut its doors following the death of a teenager with learning disabilities will not reopen.

Southern Health Foundation Trust plans to close two units – the Short Term Assessment and Treatment Team unit (STATT) and John Sharich House – that make up Slade House in the suburb of Headington.

Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, died after a reported epileptic fit while taking a bath at STATT on July 4, 2013.

An independent report into what happened revealed 15-minute checks on the teenager – who suffered from autism and epilepsy – were too infrequent, while overall assessments when he arrived at the unit were poor.

It concluded that his death could have been prevented if regular checks were carried out and assessments were better.

Admissions to the facility closed two months later in September after inspectors from the Care Quality Commission raised concerns. Two patients who were in the unit at the time have since left.

A separate CQC report issued in November identified nurses not interacting with patients, faulty equipment and unsafe dispensing of medicines. Seven members of staff are currently under formal investigation and a serious case review will take place in the not-so-distant future to determine any wrongdoing.

John Sharich House was inspected again in March this year. While four out of five key standards were being met, concerns remained about respecting and involving patients.

The decision was therefore taken to permanently close it, the Oxford Mail reported, as well as STATT.


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