Teenage girl tried to kill herself at school

editorial image
Have your say

A PSYCHIATRIST from Sheffield has been accused of misconduct after a teenager tried to kill herself at school less than a week after being discharged from a specialist child care unit where she was being treated following previous suicide bids.

Dr Tony Livesey, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, is accused by the General Medical Council of undermining the 14-year-old girl’s mental stability with his decision to remove her from the Oakwood Young People’s Centre at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield.

She had been admitted there for 24-hour support after a suicide attempt in school two months earlier.

The GMC alleges he is guilty of misconduct because the discharge was at short notice, and inconsistent with the girl’s agreed care plan.

A Fitness to Practise disciplinary panel was told the girl’s father had no issue with the care at Oakwood, solely the behaviour of Dr Livesey.

He claimed Dr Livesey was flippant, unprofessional and rude, with one conversation ending with the doctor squaring up to him.

Ciaran Rankin, counsel for the GMC, said the girl, known for legal reasons as Patient A, had attempted suicide twice before she was admitted to Oakwood, run by Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

She had previously taken pills at the school in April 2009 and had tried to hang herself in a toilet block in May 2009.

Her problems stemmed from allegations she had been raped by a boy years earlier.

Mr Rankin, for the GMC, said although an initial review of her treatment at Oakwood was carried out in mid-June 2009 and the teenager was making some progress, it was agreed she should stay longer. But he said Dr Livesey discharged the girl at short notice on June 26 and wrote a letter claiming his decision was based on his deteriorating relationship with the girl’s parents, ‘Mr and Mrs S’.

He added: “That discharge was against the wishes of Mr and Mrs S and came as something as a surprise to both of them.”

Dr Livesey, who denies misconduct and is representing himself during the hearing, asked the teenage girl’s father what the objective of his complaint against him was.

The father replied: “I want to make sure - if heaven forbid something else happens to our daughter - she is going back into a system which is better than it is.”

The doctor suggested the father had been mistaken in thinking he had been flippant towards him in one meeting.

The hearing, which is scheduled to last for a fortnight, continues.