Who is LB?
LB is Connor Sparrowhawk. LB was a fit and healthy young man, who loved buses, London, Eddie Stobart and speaking his mind. He lived in Oxford and was in the sixth form of a local special school. LB was diagnosed with autism, learning disabilities and epilepsy.
What does LB stand for?
LB stands for Laughing Boy, the name used online for Connor. Here’s why https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTa9IRDkQUU
What happened to LB
LB’s mood changed as he approached adulthood and on 19 March 2013 he was admitted to hospital, the STATT (Short Term Assessment and Treatment Team) inpatient unit run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust).
LB drowned in the bath on 4 July 2013. An entirely preventable death.
What is an Assessment and Treatment Unit (ATU)?
Unsurprisingly, Assessment and Treatment Units (ATU) are specialist inpatient units designed to assess and treat learning disabled people who may be experiencing anxieties or challenges. ATUs can be run by NHS Foundation Trusts or by private providers.
The STATT unit was very well staffed. There was a team of four staff on duty 24/7 (with 5 patients) and psychiatrists, psychologists, OTs, support workers and an essential lifestyle planner. Other ATUs can be much larger. Winterbourne View, run by a private provider, had 48 patients.
Who was responsible for the care LB received?
Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) and Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) have a joint responsibility to provide, or commission (buy) services to support learning disabled people in Oxfordshire. OCC are the lead organisation on this. They purchase ‘care’ provided by Southern Health NHS Trust. John Jackson is the Director of Adult Social Care at OCC and Cllr Ian Hudspeth is Leader of the Council.
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust have a responsibility to provide safe care for their patients. Katrina Percy is the CEO of Southern Health NHS Trust and the current Chair of the Board is Mike Petter.
What happened immediately after Connor died?
The Trust circulated a briefing – Background Briefing on Mother’s Blog – the day after Connor died. His mother had been writing a blog – Mydaftlife – about family life with LB. The briefing was to help shape “a tailored media response to the incident and monitoring of potential media interest around the incidence”. They were also quick to dismiss LB’s death as death by natural causes. This was recorded in their July 2013 Board Minutes and was also suggested to the Coroner at the first Pre-Inquest Review Meeting which took place in November 2014.
How could drowning be considered to be a death by natural causes?
It can’t. Not really. The Coroner dismissed the suggestion immediately.
What is the Duty of Candour?
The Health and Social Care Act 2008 Regulation 20: Duty of Candour http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2014/9780111117613 came into effect on 1 April 2015. It provides a legal requirement for health and social care staff to act in ‘an open and transparent way’.
So Southern Health and OCC have fully embraced candour?
Ummmm, no. Not yet.
When is LB's inquest?
The inquest into LB’s death begins on Monday 5 October 2015. It will take place at Oxford Coroner’s Court before Mr Darren Salter, Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire and a jury. You can read more about the inquest and what it is likely to cover in this press release.
I'm a journalist, do you have a photo I can use?
Sure. Take your pick of the ones below but please credit them to JusticeforLB and let us know if you use them: