EDP: Norfolk & Suffolk mental health trust launches ‘desperately needed’ probe into number of patient deaths

Tom Bristow of the EDP reports:

An independent inquiry into the rise of unexpected deaths at the region’s mental health trust will be carried out after it emerged figures for Norfolk and Suffolk were the highest in the country.

The announcement came on the same day as we revealed there were a total of 35 unexpected deaths at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) in the last three months, bringing this financial year’s total so far to 112.

The inquiry is “desperately needed” according to Ann Higgins, the mother of Christopher Higgins who died while in the care of the trust at the Fermoy Unit in 2013.

She said: “I’m happy it’s being carried out but I hope it’s done by someone from outside Norfolk and Suffolk.

“I hope they find that the service provided isn’t robust enough and that lessons will be learned.”

A spokesman for the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said: “The trust, health commissioners, and NHS England need to rapidly implement the inquiry’s recommendations to reduce the number of serious incidents and deaths as soon as possible and to allow the bereaved to know that everything is being done to prevent future tragedies.”

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EDP Norfolk & Suffolk mental health trust launches desperately needed probe into number of patient deaths

5 thoughts on “EDP: Norfolk & Suffolk mental health trust launches ‘desperately needed’ probe into number of patient deaths”

  1. Let’s hope that at last someone will take a good look at what is going on, and ANALYSE these tragic incidents. Qhestions to ask might be:

    How many of these patients were severely mentally ill and weren’t getting the level of care and supervision needed?

    How many were new patients who experienced long delays and numerous assessments before treatment actually began?

    How many should have been admitted but were treated at home for lack of a local bed?

    How many patients had recently been discharged (?too early) from hospital?

    How many were homeless or had had their benefits sanctioned?

    How many had a dual diagnosis?

    How many were under the Wellbeing Service?

    In how many cases would an experienced Community Mental Health Nurse attached to the GP practice have made a difference?

    Are some areas of Norfolk and Suffolk much worse off for staff than others?

    Are wards sufficiently staffed?

    Do the emergency services and Crisis Teams have sufficient resources?

    Do we need an open access, walk-in emergency psychiatric clinic?

    Do we need something in Norfolk and Suffolk like the Maytree Sanctuary in London?

    So many questions to consider. The Trust needs to create a culture where even one death is unacceptable

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