CQC Prosecute TEWV NHS Trust F...

CQC Prosecute TEWV NHS Trust Following the Death of Emily Moore

Posted : 12th March 2024

In February 2020, 18-year-old Emily Moore from Shildon in County Durham lost her life while she was a patient in Tunstall Ward at Lanchester Road Hospital. The report into Emily’s death found 24 care and service delivery problems in her care under Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust (TEWV).

Following the death of Emily Moore, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) prosecuted TEWV for alleged breaches of regulations 12 and 22 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. The trial began Monday 26th February 2024 at Teesside Magistrates Court, lasting four days.

In September 2023, TEWV pleaded guilty to failures in care after two patients died, Christie Harnett and Patient X. Christie Harnett, 17, from Newton Aycliffe lost her life while she was a patient at West Lane Hospital in Middlesbrough in 2019. Patient X, whose name is withheld for legal reasons, was a patient at Roseberry Park Hospital in Middlesbrough when they lost their life.

Emily Moore had suffered with her mental health for multiple years and had been an in-patient at mental health facilities twice before, including West Lane Hospital. Jason Pitter, prosecuting TEWV, said, “The trust failed to provide safe care and treatment, and exposed Emily to significant risk of avoidable harm.”

Although staff were aware of Emily’s suicide risk, the care plan at the hospital did not ‘guide staff’ on how to manage the risk. Tim McDougall, a mental health nurse and expert for the CQC, told the court “In my opinion elements of care provided to Emily were unsafe. The quality of the intervention and safety plan lacked guidance to keep Emily safe. I am not able to say they caused harm to Emily, but they may have contributed”.

Despite TEWV being found not guilty, this prosecution is a reminder to all organisations in this sector that they must provide a level of care.

Emily’s father, David Moore commented “I think it’s what we expected, to be honest with you but it’s not what we agree with. It was narrowed down to care plans but at the end of the day, to me, it felt like it was a plan and they’d taken away the word ‘care’ because certainly care wasn’t there for Emily – right from day one.”

Ann Ford, CQC’s director of operations in the north, stated “This is a tragic case, and my thoughts are with Emily’s family who are grieving for their loss.

If we find people are at risk of harm, we won’t hesitate to take action in line with our enforcement powers to keep people safe.”

Sentencing for Christie Harnett and Patient X will commence at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on the 19th of April.

Support Is Available

If the subject matter of this article or story has affected you in any way, then please know that support is available.

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch. Suicide and self-harm are preventable, and support is available.

Further resources and help can be found here.

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