Lauren Ellis Trial: Former mental health nurses found not guilty

Two former mental health nurses have been found not guilty of the manslaughter of a 22-year old patient in their care.

Jurats at Guernsey's Royal Court cleared Rory McDermott and Naomi Prestidge by a majority verdict.

The pair were on shift at the Oberlands Centre on the night Lauren Ellis took her own life in October 2017.

The court had heard how they failed to carry out the required checks in the hours up to Lauren's death.

Defence lawyers argued that there were other factors that could have contributed to Lauren's death, not solely the actions of Rory McDermott and Naomi Prestidge.

Lauren Ellis was a campaigner for mental health awareness and a critic of the mental health service in Guernsey.

Two weeks before she died on the ward, she spoke to ITV Channel TV about her concerns for the treatment she was receiving.

Lauren's family say she was let down by the mental health service in Guernsey.

In a statement following the verdict, Guernsey's Health and Social Care committee offered their thoughts and condolences to Lauren's family and friends.

The Committee said they were frustrated at being unable to dispute some of the claims made during the trial and their focus is on making sure islanders can continue to feel confident in mental health services.

Following Lauren's death, internal and external reviews took place, finding that mental health services were of a good standard while also highlighting areas which required improvement. The Committee says they have already acted on many of those recommendations.

The committee stress they are constantly looking to improve service and ensure best practice.

Chief Nurse Professor Juliet Beale says it should not take away from the positive work done by mental health services on the island.