Three recent killings carried out by mental health patients in Sussex could have been predicted or prevented, according to an independent report released today.
The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust commissioned the review after it was criticised for the way it handled the cases of ten people who had links to its mental health services.
One was the case of Roger Goswell who murdered his wife Susan at their home in West Chiltington in 2007, before killing himself. His family say they pleaded with doctors to keep him in hospital.
The trust has apologised for the failings in the report.
“I want to start by saying sorry. The independent review we have published today relates to incidents which had devastating consequences for those affected. I realise this may bring back painful memories for them. I also understand that some, if not all, will feel angry about our services. On behalf of the Trust, I want to extend my sincere apology and condolences.
“We commissioned this review with NHS England because we want to make sure we have done everything we should have in response to these tragic incidents. The review sends us a very strong message about the need to identify and embed the learning from when things go wrong in a way that changes clinical practice and improves patient care. This goes beyond action plans; it’s about organisational culture, values and leadership.”
A major consultation into policing and people with mental illness is being launched across Kent today.
It's thought a third of police time is now spent working with people who have mental health issues. The survey launch coincides with World Mental Health Day. Kent's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott is asking people which policing priorities matter most to them.
The findings will help shape his Police and Crime Plan for 2017-2021.
Mental health is not only an issue I care deeply about, but also one that has become much more important within the police and criminal justice system. It is estimated that a third of police time is now spent dealing with people who have a mental health issue and it is in everyone's interests to ensure there is an effective response."
The survey is available online or paper copies can be requested by calling the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on 01622 604343.
The deadline for responses is 2 December 2016.
A drive to improve mental health care for children and young people is getting underway across Kent.
Doctors and health workers will be touring towns, meeting young people who've had treatment, to get their ideas and feedback.
Six workshops for children and young people over 11 who have used CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services) are being held next week in Sittingbourne, Gravesend, Folkestone, Margate, Maidstone and Tonbridge.
There’s also a drop-in session for younger children with their parents in Ashford.
"They've failed monstrously and should resign" - the words of a woman whose sister killed herself after being discharged from a psychiatric unit run by Southern Health.
Jo Deering from New Milton suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and took an overdose after being sent home to look after her mother, who had dementia.
Now, as the NHS Trust faces fresh criticism from the Care Quality Commission, Maureen Rickman has been voicing HER concerns about patient safety and the management culture. Rachel Hepworth spoke to her.
Jo Deering died in 2011, aged 52, months after being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
She'd been discharged from Waterford House in New Milton, after treatment for paranoid schizophrenia, and sent home where she was the main carer for her 89-year-old mother, who had dementia.
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust admitted it could have made better decisions about her care.
Southern Health released this statement in relation to the case.
The team supporting Jo Deering were deeply saddened in 2011 to learn of her death, and we take this opportunity to apologise once again to her family.
Following Jo’s death in 2011 we carried out an investigation to fully understand the circumstances and whether we could have done anything differently.
We recognised that Jo had a role as a carer and provided community support to help her with this. We also found our decision-making process about granting leave, and how we communicated this with Jo and her family could have been better.
Robust actions to learn from this incident were fully implemented at the time.
We have met with and apologised to Jo’s family and have been in regular communication since 2011, making every effort to reach a meaningful resolution.
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust was issued a warning notice yesterday by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following an inspection in January.
It's been told to significantly improve protection of mental health patients.
Last year an independent report blamed a 'failure of leadership' for failing to investigate the unexplained deaths of hundreds of patients.
The trust said it was "completely focused" on tackling the concerns.
She wants everyone to know that mental illness doesn't have to be a life sentence.
Julie Roberts is anxious to let everyone know how she, personally, has recovered.
Julie, who lives in Winchester has been taking part in a pioneering scheme aimed at helping survivors, and improving psychiatric care for other patients.
She's been talking to Rachel Hepworth.
Almost eight hundred people with serious mental health issues are put in police cells in Sussex every year, even if they haven't committed a crime. That's more people than anywhere else in the country. Now a new scheme between the police and the NHS means the majority of people experiencing mental health problems are now being assessed and treated in specialist hospitals. Tom Savvides reports from Crawley with interviews from the Chief Constable of Sussex Giles York, Vincent Badu from the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust and Home Office Minister Karen Bradley.
A mental health campaign in Buckinghamshire has reached over 160,000 people in four weeks.
"Heads up" was started by the county council to help men who might be feeling feeling low, struggling with stress or money problems or feeling anxious. People can take part in online screening to assess how they might be feeling.
To visit the website go to: www.thisisheadsup.org
Breaking: a report says that the unexpected deaths of more than 1,000 people have not been investigated by the NHS. Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has been blamed for a "failure of leadership". The investigation was carried out by NHS England. The report was commissioned after 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk drowned in a bath following an epileptic seizure.
We would not usually comment on a leaked draft report. However, we want to avoid unnecessary anxiety amongst the people we support, their carers and families as their welfare is our priority.
There are serious concerns about the draft report’s interpretation of the evidence. We fully accept that our reporting processes following a patient death have not always been good enough. We have taken considerable measures to strengthen our investigation and learning from deaths including increased monitoring and scrutiny.
The review has not assessed the quality of care provided by the Trust. Instead it looked at the way in which the Trust recorded and investigated deaths of people with whom we had one or more contacts in the preceding 12 months. In almost all cases referred to in the report, the Trust was not the main provider of care.
We would stress the draft report contains no evidence of more deaths than expected in the last four years of people with mental health needs or learning disabilities for the size and age of the population we serve.
When the final report is published by NHS England we will review the recommendations and make any further changes necessary to ensure the processes through which we report, investigate and learn from deaths are of the highest possible standard.
If you are directly affected by this issue, call this NHS number: 0300 003 0025.”
We commissioned an independent report because it was clear that there are significant concerns. We are determined that, for the sake of past, present and future patients and their families, all the issues should be examined and any lessons clearly identified and acted upon.
The final full independent report will be published as soon as possible, and all the agencies involved stand ready to take appropriate action.
A former nurse convicted of raping and sexually assaulting vulnerable women has been jailed for life.Read the full story ›
Anxiety is one of the leading causes of mental health illness and the main focus of this year's Mental Health Awareness week. See our report by David Wood.
If you need help
Contact Mind on 0300 123 3393 or mind.org.uk
Sane on 0845 767 8000 or sane.org.uk
You can talk to the Samaritans on 08457 909090
or NHS Direct on 0845 4647