Firm behind closed mental health hospital tells of improvements since death

PUBLISHED: 07:50 28 November 2019 | UPDATED: 07:50 28 November 2019

The Huntercombe Hospital - Norwich.

The Huntercombe Hospital - Norwich. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

An inquest into the death of a 17-year-old at a Norfolk mental health hospital has heard what the organisation behind it has done since to improve care.

Mia Titheridge, from Yorkshire, was an inpatient at the now closed Huntercombe Hospital in Buxton, near Aylsham, when she was found unresponsive in her room on March 19, 2017.

The teenager was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital but died the same day.

The jury at Norfolk Coroner's Court yesterday heard evidence from Aimee Huxley, quality and assurance partner at The Huntercombe Group, which ran the Buxton hospital where Miss Titheridge was a patient and which owns other sites across the UK.

Ms Huxley told the court that following Miss Titheridge's death, The Huntercombe Group had employed Niche Health and Social Care Consulting to carry out an independent review into the events leading up to and surrounding her death.

Following its report, Niche made a list of seven recommendations to The Huntercombe Group.

These included reviewing the way observations were completed and recorded, risk assessments completed, records audited and how self-harm risks were managed and families of patients involved.

Niche also recommended observations from support workers were included in nurses' notes, a review of care plans and ligature points and risks to patients.

Jacqueline Lake, senior coroner for Norfolk asked Ms Huxley how The Huntercombe Group had acted on Niche's recommendations.

On how it was improving its care around self-harm, Ms Huxley said: "NICE guidelines were issued to all of our hospitals and all of these services have now included that into their services. Part of that is also communication lines with parents."

The inquest also heard The Huntercombe Group had received recommendations on staffing levels and CPR training following reports from the Care Quality Commission and Norfolk Constabulary.

The inquest, listed for 10 days, continues.

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