Criminal proceedings into three deaths at NHS Trust delayed

Officials from the Tees, Esk and Wear Valley (TEWV) NHS Foundation Trust appeared in Teesside Magistrates’ Court today (Wednesday 17 May) to address three alleged breaches of the Health and Social Care Act and alleged ‘avoidable harm’ react. .

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is following the trust related to the treatment of teenagers Christie Harnett and Emily Moore between 2019 and 2020. A third charge is also pending against a third person, identified as “X” for legal reasons.

Christie, 17, from Newton Aycliffe, was being treated at West Lane Hospital in Middlesbrough when she took her own life on June 27, 2019. Emily, 18, from Shildon, had previously been an inpatient at the same hospital until July 2019. Moved to Lanchester Road, Durham in February 2020 but took her own life a week later.

The court heard that Emily’s allegations will be tried in a trial, suggesting they could plead not guilty. No pleas have been filed regarding the allegations related to Christine and Patient Today.

The much-anticipated hearing came almost four years after Christie’s death – but TEWV has distanced itself from blame for the delay.

Paul Greaney, defense attorney for the trust, said in court: “The feeling that the trust appears to be responsible is utterly misplaced.” We know there have been indications that the trust is stuck – it’s not that Case.”

The Northern Echo: Emily and Christie's fathers have protested'failures' which they believe have cost their daughters their lives.Emily and Christie’s fathers have protested “failures” which they believe have cost their daughters their lives. (Image: The Northern Echo)

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Last June, the CQC confirmed its intention to prosecute the trust relating to the care Christie received prior to her death, but confirmed in February that the prosecution now extends to three patient deaths. Mr Greaney argued this meant the Trust had not had sufficient time to consider the full charges and needed to be given more time.

The hearing was attended by the families of Emily and Christie, as well as the trust’s CEO, Brent Kilmurray.

Mr Greaney added: “The intention of the Trust is to be open to the court, family and the public. The Trust strives to recognize mistakes where they have occurred and learn lessons from them.”

An appeal by the trust to adjourn the case until September 26 was granted by the judge. Criminal proceedings into three deaths at NHS Trust delayed

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