SOUTHERN Health has been fined £2m after admitting failures that led to deaths of two patients.

The NHS Foundation Trust admitted breaching health and safety regulations following the deaths of Connor Sparrowhawk and Teresa Colvin from New Forest.

Connor, 18, was found dead on July 4, 2013 after drowning in a bathtub at Slade House, Oxford.

Mrs Colvin, 45, of Lyndhurst, was found slumped beside a communal telephone at the Woodhaven mental health complex in Calmore in April 2012 and later died.

Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith imposed a fine of £1.05m for Connor's death and £950,000 for Ms Colvin's.

Connor, 18, was found dead at Slade House, Headington, in 2013.

He had suffered an epileptic fit and an earlier inquest ruled that ‘neglect’ had played a part in his death.

During a two-day hearing last week, Paul Spencer, defending for the trust, urged the court for leniency in light of its struggling finances.

He said: “A distance should be drawn between a trust that hasn’t learned a lesson, appears to be reluctant to recognise and accept its responsibility and its guilt and the position of this trust.

“It has been candid and it has been candid for a significant time.”

He added that ‘lessons had been learned’ across the trust since 2016 and said that now more than 98 per cent of its staff had epilepsy training in the wake of the Oxford teenager's death.

He also warned that the trust was already facing a budget deficit of around £1.69 million and that any fine would hit the service hard.

The trust have two months to pay the fine.