IHC will investigate the death of a disabled teenager who drowned in a bath at a Palmerston North respite care facility.

Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan said the 15-year-old boy drowned at the facility last Friday evening.

"Despite everyone's best efforts to resuscitate him they were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at Palmerston North Hospital ... about 12.50am,'' Mr Sheridan said.

"The police are investigating on behalf of the coroner. That includes a few things including interviewing all the people that were present and involved with the care of the young man.''


It had yet to be determined who found the boy, Mr Sheridan said.

His family weren't doing well and were being supported by Victim Support, he said.

The Ministry of Health spokeswoman said the boy was in the care of Idea Services, an IHC subsidiary, when the incident occurred.

The ministry was notified of the death on Saturday morning and was awaiting the results of the police investigation before deciding what, if any action to take, she said.

IHC spokeswoman Paula McArthur would not say whether an Idea Services employee was supposed to be looking after the boy when the drowning occurred.

IHC would be conducting its own investigation into the incident, which occurred at a respite home, she said.