Oxford Mail
Hearing resumes for psychiatrist accused of catalogue of failings following teenager’s death
November 6, 2017
By Georgina Campbell

Psychiatrist Valerie Murphy

Psychiatrist Valerie Murphy

THE hearing of a psychiatrist accused of a catalogue of failings following the death of a teenager resumed yesterday.

Dr Valerie Murphy is accused of misconduct and was the psychiatrist responsible for the care of 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk who drowned in a bath following a seizure at an Oxford care unit.

Yesterday the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) heard evidence from Professor of psychiatry at University College Cork, Timothy Dinan, where Dr Murphy was a honorary senior lecturer.

She was not present at yesterday’s hearing but had previously told the medical watchdog she had missed warning signs in the weeks before Connor, who had learning difficulties, was found submerged in water at Slade House, in Headington.

She admitted 30 separate failings over Connor’s case, including failure to acknowledge the risks of having seizures, to carry out a risk assessment, to obtain consent for treatment but denies misconduct.

The unit where Connor died is now closed and was run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, which accepted full responsibility after an inquest ruled neglect played a part.

The trust is facing prosecution under the Health and Safety Act.

Dr Murphy’s hearing continues today and will resume again this weekend with a further two days yet to be scheduled.

Valerie Murphy

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