Two teenagers found dead at crisis-hit mental hospital in as many months

Two teenagers – including a vulnerable autistic girl – were found dead at a crisis-hit mental hospital in as many months.

Nadia Sharif, 17, is said to have died of strangulation at at West Lane Hospital, an NHS centre in Middlesbrough, Teesside, where she should have been supervised.

She, last Monday, became the second teenager to die there in the past two months after the tragedy of Christie Brayley.

And Nadia's devastated family today told Teesside Live "something is going badly wrong at the hospital".

Nadia had been an inpatient at the hospital for the past three months and was supposed to be supervised amid concerns she would harm herself.

But she managed to strangle herself in an isolation room, her father says. An inquest will be held at a later date.

"Something is going badly wrong at the hospital," dad Hakeel Sharif said.

"We have lost our daughter and we are worried for the families of other young people who are still in there.

"We were told that Nadia was on suicide watch, that she was being supervised 24 hours a day, which can't have been the case for her to have been able to harm herself."

The carer, from Middlesbrough, continued: "She was one of the patients whose treatment led to the staff being suspended over the way they were restraining and handling patients.

"There was CCTV footage of kids, including Nadia, being pulled by their legs.

"That led to 20 staff being suspended, but they have been replaced by agency workers who we don't feel are correctly trained.

"The parents of other children who are in there are very worried. We have set up a Whatsapp group  so that we can all communicate with each other about what is happening.

"Nadia and Christie were friends, she was very affected by her death but the hospital would not let her out to go to her funeral, which was very upsetting to her.

"For two families to have lost their daughters at the same hospital in such a short space of time is devastating.

"I don't think it's too much to expect for your kids to be safe when they are in a hospital environment, but something is going wrong at West Lane. We don't want anyone else to go through this."

Christie Brayley, also 17, died at the hospital recently after a two-year battle with mental health issues.

Michael Harnett, her father, posted on social media: "Not only did our princess lose her life in that hospital, but now another young girl has done the same.

"It's mind boggling to think that two girls in six weeks have died in the same hospital.

"If Christie's death didn't highlight that hospital's failings then now a second death as well should start the alarm bells ringing.

"We have already started the fight for justice for Christie and we will make sure we get it."

Colin Martin, Chief Executive at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Our thoughts are with the young person’s family and friends at this distressing time.

"We always carry out a full review when someone under our care dies so there will be a full investigation, which will be carried out along with other agency partners.

"We take the recent concerns relating to West Lane Hospital extremely seriously and we are committed to making the improvements required to ensure that we provide safe, high quality care."


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