THE mother of a patient who died in the care of a mental health trust says the fight for the truth still goes on.
The North Essex Partnership Trust admitted it had failed to “manage fixed ligature points in its inpatient units”, at a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court.
One was Chelmsford’s Linden Centre where Melanie Leahy’s son Matthew, 20, was found hanging in his room on November 15, 2012.
Mrs Leahy, 55, from the Maldon area, set up a petition to investigate alleged failings which resulted in the death of 11 patients.
She said the guilty plea is the first “baby step” towards accountability.
Mrs Leahy said: “Sunday marks eight years since his passing and I find myself still fighting for the truth of what truly happened to my son during his short seven-day stay at the Linden Centre in Chelmsford.
“I know it’s not what I’ve been told.
“Where the latest health and safety prosecution is concerned, I am pleased that despite so much delay, criminal charges are being brought – as finally at least one of the concerns that I have been repeatedly been raising has finally been listened to and action taken.
“I’m pleased that the trust has pleaded guilty, but also very concerned that a lot of important evidence which would otherwise have come to light will now be kept hidden.
“I very much hope that when it comes to sentencing the judge will keep in mind the seriousness of the consequences of the trust’s failings.
“On a positive note, the first baby steps, towards getting some degree of accountability are finally being taken, which is good.
“The focus now continues for truth, justice and change – and the only forum that can achieve this is a statutory public inquiry.”
The patients died between 2004 and 2015 while in the care of the trust, which merged with the South Essex Partnership Trust in 2017 to form the Essex Partnership University Trust.
Sunday marks eight years since his passing and I find myself still fighting for the truth of what truly happened to my son during his short seven-day stay at the Linden Centre in Chelmsford.
Mrs Leahy added: “I have other multiple families now joining my campaign and we now desperately need to find out what exactly went on in each of the very sad cases. It is only when we know that we can look at how and why so many vulnerable people have been so spectacularly failed and then we can take steps to affect change.”
A Health and Safety Executive prosecution is being brought against Essex Partnership University Trust. Trust chief executive Paul Scott said: “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families whose loved ones were part of this investigation. We are unable to comment further at this stage of the legal process.”