Minister orders special review into NHS trust that treated Nottingham triple killer

Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire
Minister orders special review into NHS trust that treated Nottingham killer Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

A “special review” has been ordered into the NHS trust where triple killer Valdo Calocane was treated for mental illness before he went on to stab three people.

The healthcare watchdog has been asked to report by March on its findings of an investigation into the care Calocane received at Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.

The 32-year-old fatally attacked students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar before killing school caretaker Ian Coates last June.

A judge handed down a hospital order at his sentencing for manslaughter by diminished responsibility last week after the court heard he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

The families of the victims have questioned the care he received before the killings.

Announcing the Care Quality Commission (CQC) review, Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said: “My thoughts remain with the families and friends of Barnaby, Grace and Ian, who lost their lives in such a tragic, cruel and barbaric way.

Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar were all killed by Valdo Calocane. Credit: Family handout

“It is crucial that our mental health services ensure both the care of patients and the safety of the public.

“I hope the review provides the families and public with some much-needed answers, and that it helps the Trust to improve the standard of mental health care in Nottinghamshire.”

Investigations continue at Highbury Hospital in Nottingham – where Calocane was at one point admitted – in the light of separate recent staff suspensions with an improvement plan under way and overseen by a new oversight board, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

The CQC will focus on wider issues in mental healthcare provision in Nottingham and will be required to present findings within weeks on patient and public safety as well as the quality of care provided across the trust, it said.

Rampton Hospital – one of three high security hospitals across the country and part of the trust – recently received an ‘inadequate’ inspection rating from the watchdog.

The Government has asked the regulator to assess the progress made by the hospital to improve standards since that inspection.

Director of mental health at the CQC, Chris Dzikiti said: “We will conduct a rapid review into mental health services in Nottingham to understand whether there are any practical actions which can be taken to improve the quality of services and ensure people receive safe and effective care.

“We will begin this work immediately, aiming to report to the Secretary of State before the end of March.”

The Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire Healthcare said they will implement any recommendations the CQC and NHS England make.

In a statement Ifti Majid said: "We welcome external inspections as they are important to helping us learn and continually improve our services, giving us independent insight to highlight areas for development so that the experience for those who use our services is improved.

"We look forward to working with the Care Quality Commission and NHS England, and we undertake to swiftly implement any recommendations.

"Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of Barnaby Webber, Grace O'Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates, and those who are affected by the tragic events in Nottingham in June 2023."