Full jury findings – Connor Sparrowhawk #JusticeforLB

Conclusion of the Jury as to the death

Connor Sparrowhawk died on 4 July 2013 at the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust Short Term Assessment and Treatment Unit (STATT), Slade House, Horspath Driftway, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7JH. No cardiac activity detected and CPR being carried out, with death pronounced at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Connor Sparrowhawk died by drowning following an epileptic seizure while in the bath, contributed to by neglect.

Connor’s death was contributed to by very serious failings, both in terms of systems in place to ensure adequate assessment, care and risk management of epilepsy in patients with learning disability at STATT. And in terms of errors and omissions in relation to Connor’s care while at the STATT.

Contributory factors include:

  • a lack of clinical leadership on the unit
  • a lack of adequate training and the provision of guidance for nursing staff in the assessment, care and risk management of epilepsy
  • a very serious failing was made in relation to Connor’s bathing arrangement

Other failings included:

  • the failure to complete an adequate history of Connor’s epilepsy
  • and complete an adequate epilepsy risk assessment soon after admission

Opportunities were missed to undertake completion of the above thereafter.

Evidence also exists of inadequate communication with Connor’s family and between staff regarding Connor’s epilepsy care, needs and risks.

Q1 Was there a failure in the systems in place? 

Answer: Yes

‘Adequate training’

Considered inadequate due to the following:

  • too few staff trained in epilepsy on the unit
  • training provided is limited and insufficient
  • lack of leadership in terms of training and professional development on the unit
  • change in shift patterns reduced the opportunity for training, which was previously undertaken in handover periods

‘Adequate guidance’

  • epilepsy toolkit wasn’t provided to staff on STATT despite being available and being in use elsewhere within Southern Health
  • no apparent proactive support and guidance from the specialist epilepsy resources available to the STATT team i.e. from the community team
  • lack of guidance from the clinical leadership on the unit

Q2 Was there any error or omission in Connor’s care at any time after his admission to the STATT on 19 March 2013?

Answer: Yes

  • Bathing arrangements should have been undertaken on a sight and sound basis
  • Within the week after admission the following should have been undertaken:
    • staff obtain an adequate history of Connor’s epilepsy history
    • staff carry out an adequate risk assessment in relation to Connor’s epilepsy informed by history information provided
  • No specific information was sought from Connor’s family on bathing arrangements
  • Lack of appropriate follow up/communication with Connor’s family following suspected seizures.
  • Missed opportunity to create an epilepsy risk assessment not done following admission
  • General lack of 1 to 1 communication with Connor’s family outside of clinical team meetings resulting in lost opportunity to involve family in care planning
  • Lack of leadership on the unit. Resulting in lack of clarity of accountabilities and responsibilities
  • After suspected seizures, the clinical team failed to identify the lack of an epilepsy management plan and epilepsy risk assessment being in place

Screenshot 2015-10-17 09.57.55

18 responses to “Full jury findings – Connor Sparrowhawk #JusticeforLB”

  1. Nut says:


  2. Audrey O'Keefe says:

    No one ever listens – no one ever carers –
    My adult son classic autism non verbal was placed with a support worker on zero hours contact and no ” NO TRAINING” – my son was isolated and received injuries that required to date 7 operations the 8th will be in November……
    The Agency/Authority would not release training records we made an application to the courts. The LA were issued with a court order to produce the documents withing 7 days – the court order was ignored a further application was made to the courts the LA were issued with a penal notice to produce the file or they would be in contempt of court – we received the file which exposed the support worker had received no training. I have litigation against the LA (Liverpool City Council)
    I admire Sara and her family and condemn Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust they thought they could hide the truth with a little cover up trying to drag what happened into the shadows of their corrupt system. I find the worst thing is that Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust thought Connors family were not worthy of the truth.
    All my love to you and yours Sara…….
    Solidarity as always.

  3. […] happened to Connor and none of them were tragic or tragedy or any derivative of that word. You can read all of their words here but they […]

  4. […] You can read the full jury verdict here http://justiceforlb.org/full-jury-findings-connor-sparrowhawk-justiceforlb/ […]

  5. […] decided that Southern Health *were* responsible for what happened to Connor. They attributed his death to neglect and very serious failings in the systems and care provided by Southern Health. If it wasn’t […]

  6. […] seizure while in the bath, as a result of neglect at Southern Health NHS Trust. You can read the full jury findings from LB’s inquest on twitter @LBinquest […]

  7. […] the Coroner’s Jury findings about LB’s death here, see what happened to Jack Adcock here, to Robin Kitt Callender here and this Pinterest board […]

  8. […] independent investigations following homicide, but given LB’s entirely preventable death was due to neglect in Southern Health learning disability services I thought I might have a useful and less common perspective to offer. […]

  9. […] two weeks of evidence, concluded that LB’s death was due to neglect. You can read their full jury findings here but they had no difficulty in identifying the failings in care and the systems in place at […]

  10. […] in British history a Coroners hearing, was live tweeted @LBInquest. The Coroner’s Jury found that Connor’s death was preventable, and that neglect had played a part: A two year fight to be told that an epileptic teenager with […]

  11. […] with the NHS. The JusticeforLB campaign has consistently sought accountability for a death that a jury found as the result of neglect, by the organisation this person works for. When I tried to point that out they blocked us, simple […]

  12. […] this with immediately apologised and said he would make sure the minutes were corrected. (The full jury findings can be read here… […]

  13. […] cost them their lives, such as in LB’s case. You can read what a jury found at his inquest in full here. If you’re short on time they found he died as a result of neglect at Southern Health, a fit […]

  14. […] I pointed out Connor was 18 when he died as a result of NHS neglect […]

  15. […] findings of the jury on 16 October 2015 and the conclusions of the Verita report in February […]

  16. […] 4) Why are all governors, and all staff for that matter, not completely aware that LB’s death was due to neglect, not some small accidental slight of hand, catastrophic failings with devastating consequences. […]

  17. […] of Oxford could sit through two weeks of evidence and claims, of posturing and performance, and reach the conclusion that we’d always known was true from the start. LB’s family issued a statement at the end of the inquest that […]

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