A TROUBLED mental health trust has pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws following the death of a patient in its care.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust pleaded guilty to the charge at Oxford Magistrates' Court under section three of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, by failing to protect patient Teresa Colvin from serious self-harm.

Mrs Colvin, from Lyndhurst, was found unconscious at Woodhaven Adult Mental Health Hospital in Calmore in April 2012.

The Daily Echo reported that Mrs Colvin was found hanged using a telephone cord of the communal phone used by nurses at the hospital.

They discovered she was missing when they were carrying out 15-minute checks on her.

Trust chief executive Dr Nick Broughton admitted that more could have been done.

In a statement tonight, he said: “Teresa tragically died whilst she was being cared for in one of our inpatient mental health units.

“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.”

No sentencing date has been set for the case, which was brought by the Health and Safety Executive. A hearing has been arranged at Oxford Crown Court for Monday, November 27.

The case comes just weeks after the trust admitted failings following the death of teenage patient Connor Sparrowhawk.

Mr Sparrowhawk, 18, drowned in a bathtub at Slade House, Oxford, in 2013. He had suffered an epileptic fit and an inquest ruled that neglect had played a role in his death.

In October, the trust was ordered to pay £161,000 after a patient suffered serious neck injuries falling from Melbury Lodge in Winchester in December 2015.