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This article was published in August 2017. The information may be out of date. Please check our epilepsy information or our site A-Z.

Medical Practitioners Tribunal finds further failings made by Dr Valerie Murphy while caring for teenager with epilepsy

24 Aug 2017

A Medical Practitioners Trubunal has found a number of failings made by the consultant psychiatrist in charge of 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk’s care at Slade House disability unit.

Dr Valerie Murphy appeared before the tribunal on August 7 and admitted to 30 failings in Connor’s care. On August 18, the tribunal found proved a further nine failings, and found not proved another 18.

Connor was an inpatient at the Oxford Southern Health NHS foundation facility in 2013. He had autism, learning disabilities and epilepsy. The teenager drowned at the facility after having an epileptic seizure while in the bath.

At the tribunal, Dr Murphy admitted failing to obtain a full history of Connor’s epilepsy and seizures. She also admitted failures regarding providing adequate care and management plans for Connor’s epilepsy, and specifically regarding bathroom and shower needs.

The tribunal found that there were further failings by Dr Murphy, such as in carrying out proper risk assessments for Connor. There were also failings in communicating effectively to the teenager the advantages, disadvantages and side-effects of medicines.

The tribunal will continue in November.

You can download a care plan from the Epilepsy Action website. 


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Dr Valerie Murphy in charge of Connor Sparrowhawk’s care at Slade House admits failures before medical practitioners tribunal

The consultant psychiatrist in charge of 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk’s care at Slade House disability unit has admitted a number of failings at a tribunal hearing on August 7.

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