Psychiatric hospital fined £300,000 over teenager's death

Private mental healthcare group, The Priory, has been fined £300,000 for breaching health and safety law after a teenage girl committed suicide while in its care.

14-year-old Amy El-Keria was being treated at Ticehurst House psychiatric hospital in East Sussex when she died in November 2012.

It is obvious that any penalty I impose can never reflect the loss suffered by Amy's family in this case.

Judge Mr Justice James Dingemans, Lewes Crown Court

Amy's mother Tania El-Keria, spoke after the ruling:

In a statement following the fine, the Priory Group said:

We would like to repeat our sincere and profound apologies to Amy’s family.

We note the findings of Mr Justice Dingemans. Overall, the court found that Priory Healthcare had co-operated with the HSE investigation and pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity.

Following the incident PHL took significant steps to strengthen those areas at the hospital where the court found there were weaknesses including additional training and support for staff to enable them to manage patients at risk of self-harm more robustly including dealing with emergencies. The court remarked that Priory Healthcare had treated successfully very many young patients including some young people who have been taken from the brink of despair to a life with a future.

  • Trevor Torrington, the Priory Group CEO