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Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust prosecuted after three patients died.


A mental health trust is to be prosecuted by the health and care regulator after three patients died in its care.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is bringing charges against the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS Trust.

It is thought the charges to the deaths of Christie Harnett, 17, Emily Moore, 18, and a third person.

The trust is said to have failed "to provide safe care and treatment" which exposed patients to "significant risk of avoidable harm."

Both young women had previously been treated at West Lane Hospital, Middlesbrough, which was closed by inspectors after concerns were raised in 2019.

Miss Harnett, from Newton Aycliffe died at the hospital in 2019. Miss Moore, from Shildon, died after taking her own life at Lanchester Road Hospital, Durham in 2020. Both had complex mental health issues and took their own lives. The third person’s identity is unknown.

Last year, independent reports commissioned by NHS England found gaps in the "care and service delivery" across a number of agencies involving the treatment provided to the two women.

In June 2022, the CQC, which regulates health and social care services in England, said it was prosecuting the trust after its failure to protect Miss Harnett.

The health and care regulator said at the time that the circumstances surrounding the death meant the CQC had looked "at all the evidence to determine if it meets the threshold for the CQC to prosecute the provider” and "in this case it was concluded that it did meet the threshold and a prosecution was necessary and in the public interest.”

The CQC subsequently confirmed it was now prosecuting the trust after the deaths of two more people. A spokesperson refused to confirm the patients involved, but said they had all been in the trust's care.

However, the father of Miss Moore, David Moore, said that some of the alleged offences related to the care of his daughter.

The CQC said the trust "breached" the Health and Social Care Act, which relates to healthcare providers' responsibility to "ensure people receive safe care and treatment."

A spokesperson for the trust said: "We have fully cooperated with the Care Quality Commission's investigation and continue to work closely with them.

"We remain focused on delivering safe and kind care to our patients and have made significant progress in the last couple of years."