Southern Health has pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety law after a patient died while in the trust’s care.

Teresa Colvin, 45, was found unconscious at Woodhaven Adult Mental Health Hospital, near Southampton, in April 2012 and died later.

In a hearing at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday the trust pleaded guilty to a charge under section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work, Etc Act 1974.

The prosecution was brought by the Health and Safety Executive.

No sentencing date has been set but the trust will appear at a hearing at Oxford Crown Court next Monday.

An HSE spokesman said: “HSE acknowledges the defendant’s guilty plea but will not make a further comment until after sentencing.”

The trust is also awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge under the same act over the death of Connor Sparrowhawk, which was described as “entirely preventable” by previous interim chief executive Julia Dawes.

Last month it was fined £125,000 for failing to take steps to prevent patients climbing onto a roof of a mental health unit.

Nick Broughton took over as the trust’s permanent chief executive earlier this month. 

He said: ”We failed Teresa and her family and I am profoundly sorry that we did not keep her safe.

”It is clear that we should have taken action sooner to prevent this tragic outcome and undoubtedly, knowing that more could have been done will only add to the pain of Teresa’s family. I sincerely apologise that the care we provided fell below the standard that we would expect.

“The prosecutions against the trust are extremely serious and have contributed to a wholesale programme of change.

”Extensive improvements have been made, and are continuing, to improve the quality of care we provide and ensure the safety of those we look after.”

  • Article updated at 11.39am on 21 November to include statement from Southern Health.