Priory faces significant fine over patient’s death

The Priory Group has pleaded guilty to health and safety charges following the death of a vulnerable young patient in its care in 2012.

Brighton Magistrates Court heard how Amy El-Keria hanged herself in her room at a private psychiatric hospital run by the Priory in Ticehurst in East Sussex.

In 2016, an inquest concluded neglect by the Priory had contributed to the 14-year old’s death.

The private healthcare group will be sentenced at a crown court hearing next month, facing a multimillion-pound fine.

A criminal investigation was launched by the Health and Safety Executive.  A spokesperson said: ‘ Priory Healthcare Ltd has indicated a breach of section 3(1) of the  Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

‘On the basis of that indication the matter was committed to the crown court for sentence.’

A spokesperson for the Priory Hospital Ticehurst said: ‘We are truly sorry that this very sad incident occurred and extend our deepest sympathies to Amy’s family. 

‘We continue to invest significantly in improving patient safety at Ticehurst. The hospital is making strong progress under new leadership and continues to be rated ‘Good’ in all areas by the Care Quality Commission.’