THE family of an 18-year-old man who drowned following an epileptic seizure while under the care of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded £80,000 compensation.

The NHS Trust has agreed to publish accepting responsibility for the death of Connor Sparrowhawk, affectionately known as Laughing Boy (LB), who died at Slade House in Headington, Oxfordshire, in 2013.

In October, an inquest jury ruled that neglect contributed to the death of the teenager, who was being treated at the hospital run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Following mediation which concluded on Wednesday, the Trust admitted several points regarding its negligence which are explained in a statement to be published on its website for four weeks and also agreed to pay compensation to Mr Sparrowhawk's family for its "unlawful acts and omissions".

His mother, Dr Sara Ryan, said in her online blog: "The statement is very clear and, given everything that's happened [he died ...] is a form of 'vindication', if that's the right word, without meaningless apology. The money? It was never about money."

She added: "A good outcome apparently. I just felt deeply sad and a bit odd."

The Southern Health statement says: "The Trust accepts that it was responsible for the death of Connor Sparrowhawk, an 18-year-old boy who was a much loved son, brother and friend.

"He died on 4th July 2013 whilst in the care and custody of the Short Term Assessment and Treatment (STATT) Unit, Slade House, for which the Trust was responsible. Connor's preventable death was the result of multiple systemic and individual failures by the Trust in the care provided to Connor on the STATT Unit."

The statement also says that the Trust accepts that it was negligent and breached Mr Sparrowhawk's human rights under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is the right to life.

Charlotte Haworth Hird, of Bindmans, the family's solicitor, said: "This full admission finally shows what Connor's family have known for years - that Connor and they were repeatedly failed by Southern Health.

"It comes after a three year struggle by Connor's family and the #JusticeforLB campaign.

"They have fearlessly fought for truth and accountability in relation to Connor's death and at last, the full extent of the Trust's failings in Connor's care have been accepted. It is shameful that this was not done sooner. Over an extended period, Connor's family have had to learn of the harrowing circumstances of his time at the STATT unit and of his death.

"In the face of that horror, they have remained dignified and dedicated to ensuring that no other individual receives the treatment that Connor and they have. I am therefore glad that the Trust has also publicly acknowledged that Sara Ryan has conducted herself and the #JusticeforLB campaign in a dignified, fair and reasonable way. Nothing less could have been said of her."

Deborah Coles, director of Inquest, who have supported Connor's family since his death, said: "The truth only came about as a result of the family's fight for it. This took place against a background of Trust secrecy, denial and resistance to effective scrutiny. Southern Health argued against the Article 2 inquest with a jury.

"It was this process, at which the family were legally represented, that enabled the systemic failings and neglect to be exposed. What about those who have no one to fight for them? The ongoing failure to set up a process whereby deaths of learning disabled and mental health patients are independently investigated sends a message out that these lives do not matter."

Southern Health is a mental health trust providing services to 45,000 people across Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. It has been subject of a number of Government reviews after a NHS England investigation found that hundreds of deaths of people under its care had been investigated between 2011 and 2015.