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16 May 2018, 11:42 | Updated: 16 May 2018, 12:42
The family of a woman who died after absconding from Mill View Hospital in Hove in 2015 have recieved a public apology from the chief Executive of the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
The Trust say they failed in their duty of care to Janet for which they are truly sorry.
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust say we have worked hard to address the shortcomings identified following Janet’s tragic, untimely death. Providing the best possible care is a continuous process of improvement. This is something we treat with the utmost seriousness.
Janet Muller was a 21 year-old student from Eastbourne, The body of Miss Muller, 21, was found in the back of a badly-burned Volkswagen Jetta, which had been dumped in a road by Ifield Golf Club near Horsham, West Sussex.
Apology in respect of care Janet Müller received from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has agreed with the family of Ms Janet Müller to issue a public apology about the care their daughter, Janet, received while she was a patient with us. The public apology we have agreed is part of the conclusion of civil proceedings and is from Sam Allen, Chief Executive, on behalf of the Trust.
On 13 March 2015, Ms Janet Müller was unlawfully killed by Christopher Jeffrey-Shaw after absconding from Mill View Hospital in Hove the previous day, where she was detained under our care. She should not have been able to leave the hospital in this way while detained and under our care.
We have agreed with the family of Ms Janet Müller to issue the following statement as part of the conclusion of civil proceedings.
On 13 March 2015, Ms Janet Müller was unlawfully killed by Christopher Jeffrey-Shaw after absconding from Mill View Hospital the previous day, where she was detained under our care.
I want to apologise unreservedly to Janet’s family. I have met with them and heard about the impact of their loss, as well as their experience of the criminal proceedings, Coroner’s inquest and civil proceedings that followed. I have apologised to them in person and agreed with them I would do so again in public.
Words of apology from me cannot bring Janet back. The awful events that happened after she absconded from our care will forever be borne by her family. I want to give my personal assurance that we have worked hard to address the shortcomings identified following Janet’s tragic, untimely death. Providing the best possible care is a continuous process of improvement. This is something we treat with the utmost seriousness.
Janet did not receive the care she should have from us. We did not recognise the extent of her desire to leave hospital, manage the risk of this happening or keep her clinical records up to date. We failed in our duty of care to Janet, for which I am truly sorry.
Specifically, on the day before Janet died we did not keep her under close observation, even though she had already absconded before earlier that day. Following her return to the ward, we should have fully evaluated the risk of her trying to leave hospital again. We should then have made sure she was kept within eyesight of a member of staff at all times in order to support her and keep her safe.
Clear and complete clinical records are a vital part of providing high quality care. However, Janet’s clinical records – including her care plan and risk assessment – were not kept up to date whilst she was under our care in hospital, even after she had absconded once.
Meeting with Janet’s family reinforced to me the need to look long and hard at how we work with, listen to and support the families of people who use our services. It is so important we get this right and we will continue doing everything possible to achieve this.