EADT: Mother of Sudbury’s Joe Ruler, 19, who killed himself at Wedgwood House is left ‘heartbroken’ that same mistakes still being made by NSFT mental health trust

Matt Reason of the EADT reports:

The heartbroken mother of a Sudbury teenager who died in the care of a Suffolk mental health unit has claimed lessons have still not been learnt from her son’s death.

Joe Ruler died five years ago at the Wedgwood House unit, in Bury St Edmunds, with an inquest last year highlighting issues with ligature points, which allow vulnerable patients to hang themselves.

Last week a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report into the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, who run the unit, found similar issues still existed at other sites.

Ms Brazier said: “It breaks my heart that the trust do not seem to have learned from the mistakes made with Joe.

“I took great comfort from the inquest, where the coroner referred to a legacy left in the wake of Joe’s death that change in mental health services had happened and would continue to do so.

“However in light of the recent report from the CQC, it would appear that any change is inadequate and many vulnerable people like Joe remain at risk.”

Medical negligence specialist Sharon Allison, from Ashton KCJ, represented Ms Brazier.

She told the EADT: “The findings of the CQC have been incredibly distressing for Joe’s mother.

“She has suffered a lot since her son died and to hear that the very same issues have still mot been resolved, it is a horrible time for her.”

She claimed that the trust was made aware of ligature point concerns three years before Joe’s death and have continued to not resolve them.

She said: “I’m frankly astonished and very disturbed that the most recent CQC report found some ward environments were unacceptable and needed many improvements to make them safer, including reducing ligatures.”

Ligature risks were criticised at the trust’s Waveney Ward and Rollesby unit, at Hellesdon Hospital, in Norwich, at Carlton Court, in Lowestoft, and in Lark ward, at Woodlands, Ipswich.

Click on the image below to read the full story on the EADT website:

EADT Mother of a Sudbury’s Joe Ruler, 19, who killed himself at Wedgwood House is left ‘heartbroken’ that same mistakes still being made by NSFT mental health trust

204 thoughts on “EADT: Mother of Sudbury’s Joe Ruler, 19, who killed himself at Wedgwood House is left ‘heartbroken’ that same mistakes still being made by NSFT mental health trust”

  1. My son was also under their care  on 1 to 1 observation and managed to get out of the top floor window, he was rushed to hospital with a broken leg, we were told h was lucky to be alive.

  2. A charitable organisation called Inquest (www.inquest.org.uk) has just produced a report on deaths in mental health settings (11/2/15). Inquest points out that deaths in mental health settings are investigated by the NHS Trust responsible for the person’s care; deaths in custody or in prison are investigated by an independent body. Inquest also points out that there is no audit of whether Coroner’s recommendations are ever carried out. Many deaths in prison and in custody are also mental health related. The report points out that deaths in mental health settings are very high, possibly three per day nationally. Inquest points out that there is a lack of a “robust mechanism for ensuring post-death accountability and learning.”

    This has been one of our Campaign’s criticisms of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust – namely, what appears to be a complacent response to the numerous tragedies that have occurred over recent years, with comments from senior managers in the Trust along the lines that the number of deaths were not statistically significant. The recent CQC report highlighted the fact that lessons learned from critical incident reviews have not been transmitted to front-line staff. Our own Campaign began a series of meetings with NSFT senior management to discuss specific issues of concern. Our next meeting was intended to discuss the issue of deaths of patients known to mental health services. The Trust has now cancelled this meeting and now refuses to talk to us because our website carried criticisms of the Board of Governors; they appear more concerned about their own damaged egos than about trying to prevent any further tragedies.

  3. Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive of Rethink, made the following comment on the Inquest Report: “This report highlights really serious issues about the lack of transparency and accountability. THE HIGH NUMBER OF DEATHS PUT DOWN TO ‘NATURAL CAUSES’ WHICH ARE NOT BEING INVESTIGATED……Our concernis that as things stand it is impossible to tell how many of these deaths are resulting from preventable physical health conditions, which might have been avoided if people had received proper medical treatment in inpatient care.” In Norfolk and Suffolk we have had the deaths of Ian Graham ( EDP 20/1/2015 ) and of David Martin, both of a relatively young age but with a severe mental illness, who both died of treatable physical illnesses. Ian Graham died several hours after being discharged from the James Paget Hospital of a bowel obstruction; David Martin died of pneumonia in his own home where he was living without heating, in squalour and facing eviction. Both deaths were designated by the Coroner as deaths due to natural causes. One of the aims of our Campaign is the restoration of Assertive Outreach Teams which support those with the severest mental illnesses in the community. These cuts to mental health services really are a matter of life and death for some people.

  4. my Daughter died in MH hospital in Bath she was on a section for her own safety then the matron told her to self harm if it makes her feels better , my daughter took her life after being on 10 mins checks . but they didn’t find her time . also happened 2 weeks after on the same ward . ad 6 weeks later they said they haven’t learnt anything from these deaths .

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