Charity to be prosecuted over teenager’s death at psychiatric facility in London

A charity operating a psychiatric facility where a teenager was found hanged when it launched a programme of fitness and wellbeing is to be prosecuted, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said.

Sophie Bennett (pictured), 19, took her own life in Lancaster Lodge in Richmond, west London, in May 2016, just over a year after she was admitted.

The CQC has told the Richmond Psychosocial Foundation International (RPFI), the charity in control of the home, that it is to face prosecution under regulations in the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

It is accused of having failed to discharge a duty which resulted in users, including Ms Bennett, being exposed to a significant risk of avoidable harm.

The first hearing has been set for Ealing Magistrates’ Court in west London on May 24.

It comes after an inquest earlier this year into Ms Bennett’s death found the organisation’s leadership and oversight was “grossly inadequate”.

By law, registered providers of health and social care services must take all reasonable steps and exercise all due diligence to ensure patients receive safe care and treatment, according to the CQC.

Shortly before Ms Bennett, of Tooting, south-west London, died, the CQC criticised the facility as inadequate in a number of areas. This was a rapid decline, as it had been rated good just six months earlier.

A report by a CQC inspector in March 2016 found care at the home had deteriorated rapidly in the space of six months and raised numerous concerns such as kitchen items not being locked away and poorly qualified junior staff.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Family Handout / PA Wire.