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EDP: Norfolk and Suffolk mental health boss under fire over ‘unexpected deaths’

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Tom Bristow of the Eastern Daily Press reports:

Chief executive of the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) Michael Scott was quizzed yesterday by Norfolk County councillors about why so many of the trust’s patients have died unexpectedly.

But his answers failed to impress campaigners who accused him of failing to explain the deaths.

Almost 90 men and women who had been cared for by the trust died unexpectedly from January to May.

The latest figures show there were 11 unexpected deaths in June, 18 in July and 16 in August.

21 died in April. Another 21 died in May. In 2012-13, there were 88 deaths in the entire year.

But the committee’s chairman Michael Carttiss said he found it “extraordinary” that the Verita report found the board had been aware of unexpected deaths of patients, yet minutes from board meetings showed these deaths were not discussed.

Councillor Emma Corlett said: “The answers we received today do nothing to answer the fundamental question of why there has been an increase in unexpected deaths.”

The committee will now write to the NSFT with further questions.

Committee member Councillor Emma Corlett, the mental health champion of Norfolk County Council, is a former nurse and Unison steward at NSFT. It was fantastic to hear her proudly declare her interest as a member of our campaign at the start of yesterday’s meeting.

You can read the campaign’s statement on unexpected deaths to the committee here.

Read the article in full on the EDP website by clicking the image below. Better still, buy the newspaper and support excellent investigative journalism which has been a key component of our campaign.

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