Intended for healthcare professionals


Psychiatrist who failed in care of teenager with epilepsy who died in bath is suspended for 12 months

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 23 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k908
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A consultant psychiatrist who failed to carry out a risk assessment on a teenager with autism, learning difficulties, and epilepsy, and who drowned in the bath following a seizure, has been suspended from the UK medical register for 12 months.

Valerie Murphy was in charge of the care of Connor Sparrowhawk, who was 18 when he died in July 2013 at Slade House, Oxford, a residential care home controlled by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Sparrowhawk was admitted to Slade House in April 2013 after his behaviour had become obsessive, difficult, and violent, to the point where his family struggled to cope. Murphy prescribed risperidone for his anxiety, but failed to properly inform him or his mother of the drug’s potential side effects.

Murphy …

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