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Child died at mental health hospital ‘while staff were meant to be watching her’

A 14-year-old girl who should have been under constant supervision at a mental health hospital died after a member of staff on his first shift left her unattended, an inquest has heard.

Ruth Szymankiewicz died at Taplow Manor Hospital in Maidenhead on 12 February 2022 after a care worker responsible for her one-to-one supervision “sporadically” left his post, the hearing was told.

It also emerged at the hearing that the care worker, who is now abroad, was allegedly using a fake name. Detectives are investigating him as part of a fraud investigation although he has not yet been interviewed by police.

After Ruth’s death, the Care Quality Commission launched a criminal investigation. In an update to the coroner, it said that the investigation was looking at whether the provider had “brought about avoidable harm or exposure to risk” in relation to the young girl’s death.

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Source: The Independent, 26 May 2023


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