Dr Karl Marlowe, Medical Director at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust said:
“This is a devastating time for Ellie’s family and I express to them my deepest condolences and those of all our staff. Whilst I cannot begin to imagine what Ellie’s family are experiencing, I sincerely hope this week’s inquest has provided more clarity and answers that will, in some small way, be helpful.
“Ellie’s family rightly expected their daughter to be safe in hospital and I am deeply sorry that we were unable to keep her from harm. Since Ellie’s death care at the hospital has been comprehensively reviewed, changes have been made and ongoing improvements are taking place. Some of these changes include: strengthening staffing numbers, leadership and teamwork; overhauling decision-making processes around safeguarding, and installing electronic sensors on bedroom doors to make the environment safer.
“Our mental health hospitals provide care for people experiencing an episode of severe mental health crisis. Due to the nature of their illness, some patients are at a very high risk of coming to harm. In this setting clinicians work extremely hard to care for people in a way that is both safe, and gives the greatest quality of life and chance of recovery.
“Whilst it is sadly not possible for any healthcare provider to completely eliminate all risks, and challenges undoubtedly remain, improvements are being made and we continue to work alongside our staff, patients and their families to make the hospital the safest it can possibly be.”