1 November 2019

Before HM Assistant Coroner James Healy-Pratt
Centenary House, Crawley RH10 8BF
Opens Monday 4 November, listed for five days
Katharine Stamp, known to her family as Kate, was 30 years old when she died in the care of The Dene Hospital in Sussex on 26 March 2015. The Dene was a mental health facility run by the private company Partnerships in Care Ltd (PiC). PiC merged with the Priory Group in 2016 and in 2018 The Dene changed its name to Priory Hospital Burgess Hill. Kate’s placement at the hospital was commissioned by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The inquest into her death opens on Monday.
Kate was one of three women to die at The Dene in less than a year. The inquest into her death will be the first of the three, each of which will now be held before the Assistant Coroner for East and West Sussex James Healy-Pratt. The hearing of the three inquests have been substantially delayed by a lengthy police investigation into the three deaths.
The Dene was a specialist hospital providing secure services for women. At the time of her death Kate was a patient detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, which had been her status since she was first admitted in September 2012. Throughout her time in the hospital, her family and friends had frequently expressed concerns at the standards of Kate’s care. 
Kate was found dead in her room on 26 March 2015. Her death was not self-inflicted, and the inquest will seek to establish the medical cause and any contributing factors. The family hope the inquest will explore the following issues:

  • The Dene’s care and observation of Kate’s physical health;
  • The adequacy of record keeping and observations;
  • The impact of a lack of family involvement in her care;
  • What consideration was made of links between Kate’s mental and physical health.



For further information and to note your interest, please contact INQUEST Communications Team: 020 7263 1111 or [email protected]; [email protected]
Kate’s family are represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Samuel Cronin of Bindmans and Victoria Butler-Cole QC of 39 Essex Chambers. The family are working with INQUEST Senior Caseworker, Anita Sharma.
The coroner has listed five days for the hearing from 4-8 November and provisionally scheduled a half day in court for conclusions on Monday 11 November from 2pm.
Other Interested persons represented at the inquest are The Priory Group
The police investigation
A Sussex Police investigation into the three deaths and multiple serious incidents at The Dene took place, to consider whether there were grounds for criminal charges such as corporate manslaughter. In November 2018, Kate’s family were informed by Police that the Crown Prosecution Service found there was insufficient evidence to bring any criminal charges against The Dene, and that they did not foresee that further evidence could come to light. The family remain concerned that Sussex Police never received a number of significant documents requested for their investigation.
Other deaths at The Dene

  • Naomi Scott, 27, died in general hospital, after receiving care at The Dene on 1 February 2016. The inquest into her death is due to start on 18 November 2019.  
  • Susanne Roberts, 33, died at The Dene on 18 October 2015. The inquest into her death is due to start on 4 December 2019.
  • Natasha Raghoo died at The Dene in 2012.  Following the inquest into Natasha’s death the Coroner made a Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) report in March 2014, which raised issues reflected in the ongoing concerns of Kate’s family. The full PFD report and response of PiC is available here.

Partnerships in Care Ltd.
Partnerships in Care merged with The Priory Group in 2016, with the Priory formally taking over ownership of numerous facilities including The Dene on 30 November 2016 (see Priory website).
The facility is now called Priory Hospital Burgess Hill.
Partnerships in Care Ltd continue to manage numerous healthcare facilities, including mental health services. A number of them are listed as requiring improvement or inadequate by the CQC (see the CQC page on PiC), however Priory Hospital Burgess Hill (formerly The Dene) is currently listed as ‘good’.