Andrew Hirst of the East Anglian Daily Times reports:
More than a year after Steve Martin learned his mentally ill brother had died alone and amid filth and squalor, his quest for answers goes on.
“A really good bloke, who’d do anything for a mate.”
That’s how Steve Martin would like to remember his older brother David.
But instead, the over-riding memory he has is one of feeling horror that the 52-year-old had been left to die in such awful conditions.
Some 16 months on he still feels there are a stack of unanswered questions over the care his brother received and his subsequent death, and until that happens he feels unable to mourn his loss. He hopes an inquest, to take place on an unconfirmed date, will reveal the full facts.
When visiting David’s flat after his death, Steve said it had not been cleaned for six weeks; it was damp, there was no hot water and his bedroom window had been broken.
He said a care worker had visited just days before David’s death and had taken photographs of the mess, but had not taken any further action.
“How can you visit someone who is disabled, both physically and mentally, and leave them in an environment like that?” he asked. “I don’t get it – I just don’t get it at all.”
He has been working with the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk, which he says has opened his eyes to the effect of financial cuts across the services.
“I’ve become convinced there must be more people like David out there,” he said. “In my opinion, the administration at the NSFT have got rid of the infrastructure by sacking skilled members of staff and left themselves without the resources to deliver the care that it’s their responsibility to deliver.”
Steve, 50, who now lives in Grantham, Lincolnshire, has submitted an official complaint to the Trust, but claims its response ignored key issues to do with the condition of David’s flat and the competency of his care co-ordinator. “They need to be held to account,” he added.
One of the unexpected highlights of the March for Mental Health was meeting long-time campaign supporter, Steve Martin, who travelled all the way from Lincolnshire to support us. It was a privilege to meet him at last.
We were supposed to meet Steve in January 2015 at a meeting with the Chair of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), Gary Page, and the Chief Executive, Michael Scott, to discuss unexpected deaths of patients at NSFT. Michael Scott cancelled the meeting with the bereaved.
Jane Sayer, Director of Nursing, told both of NSFT’s regulators, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Monitor, months ago that she would be meeting us to ‘explain’ the near tripling in unexplained deaths at NSFT; she even told Monitor the date and time of the supposed meeting and the CQC wrote to us assuming the meeting had taken place. Jane Sayer never got in touch with us.
Meanwhile people suffer neglect and die in ever larger numbers.
No more Daves!
Click on the image to read the article in full on the EADT website: