Connor “LB” Sparrowhawk

Connor SparrowhawkName: Connor Sparrowhawk
Died: July 4, 2013
Age at death: 18
Cause of death: Drowning
Location: Oxford, England, UK

Connor loved buses and London. He was a happy young man who lived with family. His mother called him “Laughing Boy”, or LB for short. Connor had Klinefelter syndrome, which caused autism, learning disabilities, and epilepsy.

When he died, Connor was in an “assessment and treatment center”, which should have been a short-term stay meant to assess why Connor had been having problems with anxiety since the end of his school years. At first he was admitted on an emergency basis, and his mother hoped they would figure out what was wrong and how to help Connor. But he stayed in the center for 107 days, and nothing was done for him. Connor spent most of his time watching DVDs. Later investigation found that patients at the center had very little purposeful activity available to them. His records show that he had many behavioral outbursts, often crying that he felt suicidal and wanted to go home. There are hints that he was bullied in the unit. He was restrained at least once.

Connor, who had epilepsy and whose seizures were getting worse because of medication that the center was giving him, was left alone in the bath and had a seizure. Due to poor supervision, no one noticed until he had drowned. Staff tried to claim it had been “natural causes”, but his mother eventually found out what had happened.

An investigation uncovered that the center was not clean or safe, that the patients were treated poorly and their wishes were not respected, and that they were not checking on Connor often enough to ensure he did not drown during a seizure. Connor’s death was ruled “preventable”.

A video tribute from Connor’s family.

Truck tribute to teen after Stobart snub
Years after my son died in NHS care, state-sanctioned torture continues
NHS cover-up over autistic son’s death, claims mother
Slade House patient Connor Sparrowhawk’s death ‘preventable’
mydaftlife, blog by Connor’s family
Slade House, Care Quality Commission
The death of Connor Sparrowhawk
Death of 18-year-old in failing NHS learning disability unit was preventable, finds inquiry
Full Connor Sparrowhawk report
NHS chief meets mother of care unit death teen
Controversial Slade House unit for people with learning disabilities may never reopen
Norman Lamb calls decision to prosecute NHS Trust over Connor Sparrowhawk’s death ‘better late than never’
Connor Sparrowhawk death: NHS clinician admits string of failings
Connor Sparrowhawk psychiatrist admits failings but denies misconduct
Dr Valerie Murphy in charge of Connor Sparrowhawk’s care at Slade House admits failures before medical practitioners tribunal
Connor Sparrowhawk: Unsupervised baths ‘never came to mind’, say mother of tragic epilepsy teenager
NHS Trust admits guilt over Connor Sparrowhawk’s ‘entirely preventable’ death
Connor Sparrowhawk: NHS trust pleads guilty over teenager’s death
NHS trust ‘truly sorry’ about death of teenager Connor Sparrowhawk
Psychiatrist showed ‘no remorse’ after death of teenager, tribunal finds
Stobart truck not named after dead boy

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