Sussex Partnership NHS Trust fined for failing Lewes Prison inmate

Jackie Curtis and Jamie OsborneImage copyright Family photo
Image caption Jamie Osborne’s mother Jackie Curtis said his death had torn her apart

A mental health trust has been fined £200,000 after a “grossly psychotic” suicidal teenager in its care was found dead in his prison cell.

Jamie Osborne, 19, took his own life on the hospital wing of Lewes Prison, run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, in February 2016.

The trust admitted failing to provide care and treatment in a safe manner.

Sentencing at Brighton Magistrates Court, Judge Tessa Szagun described the case as “tragic”.

She said the care fell “far short of an appropriate standard”, procedures “were not adequately adhered to” and there were “systematic failings” in how staff were trained.

Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Osborne’s mother Jackie Curtis said: “We would just hope it doesn’t happen to other people.”

The trust admitted its own investigation had found “clear failings for which we are deeply sorry”.

‘Failed to treat him’

In a statement, it said: “The safety and wellbeing of vulnerable people under our care is of the utmost importance.

“This includes acknowledging when things have gone wrong, learning from this and taking action.”

Mr Osborne had already attempted suicide in the general wing of the prison after he was remanded in custody in 2015.

He was moved to the hospital wing, but staff failed to monitor properly and treat him, the court heard.

He died on 12 February 2016.

Image caption Plans to transfer Jamie Osborne from Lewes Prison to hospital were never carried out

Bena Brown, prosecuting, told the court that despite being observed as high risk and “grossly psychotic”, there was confusion over Mr Osborne’s care.

Dr Paul Lelliott, deputy chief inspector of hospitals at the Care Quality Commission, said he hoped it would send “a clear message that people in prison have the same right to high quality mental healthcare as any other member of our society”.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, based in Worthing, has come under fire for several deaths linked to its care.

These include the case of Donald Lock, who was stabbed 39 times by patient Matthew Daley after a car crash in 2015.

The trust was ordered to pay £25,000 in court costs and a £170 surcharge following the prosecution brought by the Care Quality Commission.

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