Essex Foundation Trust facing more criticism after deaths

A MENTAL health trust has been criticised by inspectors over failures which could put lives at risk.

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (Eput) has again been told to make improvements following an unannounced inspection of three of its mental health units including Basildon and Broomfield.

A report from the Care Quality Commission released this week found breaches on ligature points, blind spots and cleanliness despite repeated warnings in the past.

The inspection followed another serious incident at the Basildon Mental Health Unit and found the unit had failed to take appropriate action since.

It also found that wards there breached regulation related to segregated bathrooms and mixed sex accommodation and that wards were not clean.

Specifically, Thorpe ward had mould, peeling paint and smelled of urine, the report said.

In January, Bethany Lilley, 28, died at the Thorpe Ward of the Basildon Mental Health Unit.

The death of Ms Lilley, who was from Clacton, was ruled to not be suspicious by police.

The trust EPUT has been involved in long-standing controversy surrounding the deaths of patients at their facilities which were formerly run by the North Essex Partnership Trust.

In November, Essex Police dropped a corporate manslaughter investigation in the deaths of 25 people.

The force said although it had found “basic failings”, the threshold for corporate manslaughter was not met.

Last week, the health ombudsman published a damning report which found significant failings by the trust had led to the deaths of two men at Chelmsford’s Linden Centre. This included the death of Matthew Leahy in 2012.

His mother Melanie said: “Has nobody been paying any attention to what I’ve been saying since Matthew’s unnecessary death?

“There is no excuse for this.

“Draft reports from the ombudsman detailing the failings have been received by the trust on at least three occasions within the last four and a half years, yet still the same failings continue to happen.

What is going to force the trust to make the changes required happen? This lack of safeguarding is horrendous.

“I’m calling for a public inquiry and still think this is the only way forward for our most vulnerable to be provided with the level of care they deserve.”

Responding to the latest inspection, Sally Morris, the trust’s chief executive, said: “The report of the inspection confirms that there is evidence of robust care planning, risk assessment and discharge planning and effective systems in place to manage temporary staff.

“However, we were disappointed to see that there were areas where we need to take further action.

“We are committed to ensuring any shortfalls identified in the care we provide are addressed.”

Melanie Leahy has called for a public inquiry into her son’s death and has launched a petition which has garnered more than 7,000 signatures.

You can support the petition by clicking here

Credit Chelmsford and Mid Essex Times

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