'Bodies keep piling up': Fresh calls for public inquiry at Norfolk and Suffolk mental health trust

Emma Woolfenden lost her son Kai after he took his own life at the age of 18
Emma Woolfenden lost her son Kai after he took his own life at the age of 18 Credit: ITV News Anglia

Grieving families have told of gaps in crisis care and "impossible" searches for help as calls grow for an inquiry into unexpected deaths at one of the country's worst mental health trusts.

Among them was the mother of 18-year-old Kai Mogg, who took his own life, who told ITV News Anglia she still needed answers about his death - and had been let down by emergency services.

She was speaking a fortnight after Bartlomiej Kuczynski, his two young daughters and his sister-in-law were found dead, with stab wounds to the neck, in Costessey near Norwich.

Mr Kuczynski had called Norfolk Police with concerns for his mental health but officers did not attend.

Four members of the same family were found dead at a house in Costessey, near Norwich Credit: Facebook/family photo

They went an hour later after another call from a member of the public. The police watchdog is investigating the force's response and the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has also launched a review, as Mr Kuczynski was one of their patients.

Campaigner Mark Harrison, who has been mapping the trust's failures for many years, wants a criminal investigation into the thousands of unexpected deaths of its patients.

And he says emergency services are passing the buck between themselves - because none have the resources to keep up with demand.

"The bodies keep piling up. It's as brutal as that. The incident in Costessey just shows how dysfunctional the system is," he told ITV News Anglia.

Campaigner Mark Harrison said: "The bodies keep piling up. It's as brutal as that" Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Nobody is taking responsibility for delivering a public service. I would never want to be in the position of the call handler who had to deal with that public call and rather than say 'Police will be there in five minutes', had to say 'Phone 111 - and good luck with that one.'"

In response, NSFT said it was on an "journey of improvement" and was investing in community services, a mental health response car to help those in crisis, and opened new inpatient beds.

Emma Woolfenden has first-hand experience of the dysfunction Mr Harrison describes.

Her son Kai Mogg - whom she describes as her best friend - was found dead at a building site near his home in Norwich last summer, at the age of 18.

A year before, struggling with addiction and depression and facing a year-long wait to get any help, police found him on a bridge over a dual carriageway.

They took him home and reported the incident to a children's health service - but not his mother.

Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, which oversees the Norfolk Healthy Child Programme, then sent him what a coroner would later describe as a "flyer" about mental health support.

Ms Woolfenden said: "I don't understand why police didn't take him to hospital for a mental health assessment because at that point - I learned from the inquest - he was categorised as a medium risk.

"But they didn't, they just took him home and left him there. The people that make these decisions, how would they feel if it was their child?

"Would they not want to know that their child was so sad they were thinking about taking their own life?"

Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, said police had notified them that Kai was having "a difficult time".

But they added: "While we do not run a mental health service, our team reached out to him to let him know about our confidential chat service and other resources."

The trust said it would be changing the way it responded to similar incidents in the future.

Some police forces are now introducing a policy called Right Care Right Person - to concentrate on crime over mental health calls, in an attempt to free up police resources.

But in Norfolk that roll-out is being reviewed - while the police watchdog investigates the force's response to the tragedy in Costessey a fortnight ago.

As multiple organisations carry out multiple reviews into multiple deaths, families who have paid the price want to know what is going to change.

Ms Woolfenden said: "I feel like it's not real. I'm here but I don't feel like I'm here.

"And I've got to carry on my life with one of my children gone."

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