16 November 2023

This is media release by Sinclairslaw, reshared by INQUEST

Before Coroner Ms Penelope Schofield
Leonardo Hotel, Brighton
Opens 10:00am, November 20th 2023

An inquest will resume next week (20th November 2023) into the death of 19-year-old Jessie Eastland Seares from Brighton, who tragically died whilst she was an inpatient on Caburn Ward at Mill View Hospital in Hove, East Sussex, on the 17th of May, 2022. 

Described by her family as kind, generous, funny, inspiring and unforgettable, Jessie was Autistic had a history of complex physical and mental health issues and self-harm, and had been diagnosed with Dyspraxia, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Sensory Processing Disorder, depression and anxiety, and disordered eating. 

Under the care of East Sussex County Council and Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), she had been an inpatient in various hospital and care settings in the community, from January 2017. She was transferred to adult mental health and social care services when she turned 18 in December 2020.

Shortly before her death Jessie had been living in temporary, emergency supported accommodation, but then was admitted to Royal Sussex County Hospital for physical issues, weeks before she was admitted to Caburn ward – a unit for people with acute mental health problems which forms part of the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust – on 4th March 2022, where she was detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act. 

She was placed on 2-1 observations and then this was subsequently changed to being checked just on an hourly basis. In the early hours of the 17th of May, 2022, staff found Jessie ligatured and unresponsive. A doctor commenced CPR and an ambulance was called, but she sadly passed away. 

Prior to and following her death Jessie’s parents, Andy Seares and Katherine Eastland, raised concerns about the care that she received whilst living in the community, the decision to admit her to Mill View over other available facilities with better therapeutic treatments, and the care that she received once admitted to Mill View.

Speaking ahead of the inquest they said that they have ‘many questions’ that they hope will be answered, including the way that her physical health needs were treated, the way the medication she was prescribed was managed by her various healthcare providers, and the lack of delivery of her care plans by appropriate practitioners. 

Jessie’s family are being represented at the inquest by Chris Callender, a public law expert from Sinclairs Law and are being supported by the charity INQUEST.

The family are keen to support the media with any enquiries. However, they have asked that requests for quotes in relation to the inquest or images are directed to the press teams at Sinclairs Law  and INQUEST.

Ashlea McConnell, PR Consultant acting for Sinclairs Law – [email protected], 07852282802

Leila Hagmann – INQUEST press team - [email protected]


Deaths in the care of Sussex mental health services

  • Rachel Garrett, 22, died after falling from a height in Brighton on 29 July 2020. An inquest found that opportunities to save her life had been missed. Rachel had mental and physical health needs and had spent time in the care of Mill View Hospital. Media release.
  • The Telegraph reported in January 2022 that more than 360 patients took their own lives after being treated by Sussex Partnership Foundation NHS Trust in the past five years. While there were also 15 coroner’s reports to prevent future deaths.
  • Bethany Tenquist, 26, died after ligaturing in her room at Mill View Hospital on 16 January 2019. An inquest found a sequence of serious failures relating to staffing, leadership and safeguarding processes on ward probably had a direct causal connection to her death. Media release.
  • Janet Müller, 21, was killed after absconding from Mill View Hospital. The jury at the inquest found there were a number of failings in her care. Media release.
  • In 2016, local media reported that five women had died at Mill View Hospital, including Janet Müller (above), Danuta Corbett, Jessica Philpott, Jackie Stansby, and Philippa Mortiz-Parsons.
  • Sabrina ‘Sabby’ Walsh, 32, died on the Woodlands Ward in Sussex 2016. The inquest found gross failures and neglect contributed to her death. Media release.
  • Bethan Smith, 31, died whilst under the care of Sussex Partnership Trust in 2011. Her mother wrote this about their experiences.