Remembering Connor Sparrowhawk

Remembering Connor Sparrowhawk

Today we are remembering Laughing Boy Connor Sparrowhawk. Connor was a fit and healthy young man who loved buses, London, Eddie Stobart and speaking his mind.

A year ago today Connor died in an Assessment and Treatment unit. An independent inquiry found his death was preventable.

The unit where Connor died is now closed to new admissions. But there are 3,250 children and adults in units like it across England.

We asked the Care Quality Commission (CQC) how many other people like Connor have died in similar settings, by sending them a Freedom of Information request (FOI). In their response they told us they had been notified of over half a million deaths in services since 2010. These notifications didn’t enable them to easily identify people with a learning disability or people who had died in similar services to Connor’s. Our request was refused on the grounds that it would be too financially difficult to retrieve this information.  

In response to the abuse revealed at Winterbourne View a private hospital in Bristol, the Government put an action plan in place. They committed to a timetable to ensure children and adults in assessment and treatment units like Winterbourne were supported to move back to their local communities by 1st June 2014.

There are still 3,250 children and adults in units and more people are being admitted all the time. People like Josh, Fauzia, and Connor. Recent NHS figures show more people with a learning disability are going into units then are leaving them. These people deserve better.

The official response to Connor’s death has been inadequate. The response to Winterbourne View is inadequate. Change is not happening fast enough. Help us demand it.

You can download the CQC's full response to our Freedom of Information request here.

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