Day 6 Jessie’s Inquest: Simon Hellyer

On the morning of Day 6 the coroner asked her Coroner’s Officer to read the statement of Simon Hellyer onto the record.

I was not able to catch all of it, but report what I did catch below. This is as good a time as any to remind people that I am contemporaneously reporting Jessie’s inquest as accurately and fairly as I am able, but my reporting is exactly that, it is not a transcript or a complete account of what happens in court.

Mr Hellyer told the court that he was a registered social worker, who qualified in 1996. He said that he had worked in the mental health field continually since qualification, in a range of adult mental health services and he had spent two to three years working in CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). He told the court that he had been an AMHP (Approved Mental Health Professional) for nearly twenty years.

Mr Hellyer said that his current role was as Service Manager of the High Weald, Lewes and Havens ATS (Assessment and Treatment Service) since January 2019.

Mr Hellyer told the court that his involvement with Jessie was as Service Manager during her transition from CAMHS to Adult Services in 2020, until the time of her death (May 2022).

Mr Hellyer told the court what his service provides specialist mental health care for adults in the area [didn’t catch the detail]. He said that being the Service Manager, his role was largely operational, rather than patient facing.

Mr Hellyer told the court that he understood the scope of the coroner’s investigation was:

  • The care and treatment provided to Jessie during her last admission up until her death
  • Care and treatment provided to Jessie by CAMHS and Sussex Partnership since 2016
  • As Jessie was a former looked after child, would look at the care of East Sussex County Council while undertaking that role, and latterly Brighton and Hove City Council whilst Jessie was housed in that area.

Mr Hellyer told the court that he understood Jessie’s family have questions of him.

He addressed them in his statement.

a) Simon Hellyer was the Service Manager for the Assessment and Treatment Service?

This is correct at the time of Jessie’s care, and now. He is only responsible for the High Weald, Lewes and Havens areas of East Sussex.

b) The Assessment and Treatment Service took over responsibility for Jessie’s community mental health from CAMHS when she became an adult in December 2020?

Mr Hellyer told the court that this was correct and Jessie’s care transferred when she turned eighteen.

c) Mr Hellyer was Line Manager for Ruth Nathan, Jessie’s Lead Practitioner?

This is incorrect. Mr Hellyer told the court that he was not Ruth Nathan’s line manager, but that role was held by the Service Team Leader at the time, Joy [missed surname]. He told the court that the reason he became involved was due to the complexity of Jessie’s care and arrangements.

d) Mr Hellyer held update meetings with James Haselby and Jessie’s family in the last few months of Jessie’s life?

Mr Hellyer told the court that this is correct and that he co-chaired several meetings arranged to support Jessie’s parents with James H. He said the purpose of those was to hear their concerns, and plan, and update on Jessie’s treatment. He told the court that there were other professionals meetings that he also attended, some of which he chaired. He said he had calls with Jessie’s father but had not direct contact with Jessie.

Mr Hellyer told the court that safeguarding concerns were raised by an agency worker at Jessie’s accommodation. He said that he notified her father, and Jessie, that they had been raised and past onto Brighton and Hove City Council, who have the statutory responsibility for safeguarding residents in their area.

e) Family understood Mr Hellyer had a role working with services to provide a care package with Jessie, including managing that package with IMC Locums and care planning

Mr Hellyer said that this was correct but related to the mental health aspects of Jessie’s care, not social care.

Mr Hellyer told the court that there was close partnership working between Sussex Partnership Trust and the council. He said that he was involved in multiple meetings but ultimately the Council took responsibility for providing a bespoke package of care for Jessie, with IMC Locums.

Mr Hellyer told the court that a manager from IMC Locums attended many meetings. He said that he did provide advice to IMC Manager, and sometimes also to staff providing Jessie’s care at the flat.

Mr Hellyer told the court that as Jessie’s flat was in East Brighton, the usual process would be to transfer her to East Brighton ATS, but he wanted to ensure continuity of care, so he agreed that Jessie should stay with them at least until she was settled, but they did let East Brighton ATS know that Jessie was living in their area.

f) Family recall Mr Hellyer indicated that their expectations of care were too high

Mr Hellyer told the court that he remembered that Jessie’s family very much wanted bespoke care for her. He told the court that Jessie’s father often brought ideas of potential providers to the meetings and he tried to give each suggestion due attention.

Mr Hellyer told the court that at no point did he wish for Jessie’s parents to feel their expectations of care were too high, however, he did highlight that it might take time, and would need to consider a lot of providers before finding a suitable one.

g) Concerns about the property, reflecting Jessie’s physical needs [sorry missed detail]

Mr Hellyer told the court that he did remember Jessie’s father had concerns about IMC Locums nurses and their ability to care for Jessie, given her autism. He told the court that he raised these with the care team and East Sussex County Council who visited the property. He said that he did not recall any direct concerns but adaptations to the property may have been raised direct with East Sussex Council.

Mr Hellyer ended his statement by offering his condolences to Jessie’s family.

The jury were sent out for a mid-morning break at 10:57.

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