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Ryan Matthews, who admitted murdering Sharon Wall, a Healthcare Assistant, on ²gether NHS Foundation Trust's (²gether) Montpellier Unit in Gloucester, today appeared in Bristol Crown Court.

The judgement handed down was a whole life order, which means Mr Matthews will spend the rest of his life in prison.  

Shaun Clee, Chief Executive of ²gether, said: “Sharon was a highly compassionate, well-respected and dedicated colleague.

“Everyone who knew her speaks about her warmth, caring nature and good sense of humour and colleagues across the trust feel her loss every day. 

“We continue to provide support to Sharon’s family, friends, colleagues and service users; and we send our deepest sympathies to them during what continues to be a very difficult time.

“We would also like to thank our staff for providing additional support to our service users and each other since this tragic and isolated incident occurred”.

Shaun continued: “Our internal investigation has concluded that this attack could not have been predicted or prevented. 

“We have worked closely with Gloucestershire Police during their investigation and we are committed to our ongoing work with our commissioners, NHS England’s external investigation team and the Health and Safety Executive who, as is standard practice, investigate deaths in the workplace.

“The safety of our staff and service users is our highest priority and our aim is to make sure that we are doing everything possible to provide the safest therapeutic environment for our inpatients, visitors and our staff that we can.

“Our first priority following Sharon’s death was to make sure we understood how the tragic incident occurred and what changes need to be made to our policies and procedures. We launched a serious incident review within hours of the event occurring and an internal investigation followed shortly after.

“During the investigation, we have focussed a great deal on how the weapon used in this crime was on the Montpellier Unit.  Neither we, nor the police, know how Mr Matthews gained access to a knife and unfortunately we may never find that out. Robust control and monitoring of sharps within the low secure unit exist and all the unit’s sharps are properly accounted for.  What we do know for certain is that the knife used in this attack did not belong to our unit.  

“As it appears that the knife was brought into the hospital, one of the changes we are implementing since Sharon’s death is an enhanced search procedure for visitors and inpatients. We recognise that this may cause inconvenience and anxiety for visitors and patients and we would ask people to work with us in further enhancing the safety of who receive treatment, work or visit the unit”.

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