A mental health trust in Essex is being investigated by police over the deaths of a number of inpatients at The Linden Centre, Chelmsford, Essex.
A mental health trust in Essex is being investigated by police over the deaths of a number of inpatients at one of its units.
Seven patients have died at the Linden Centre since 2001, all by attaching a ligature to fixtures or furniture on the wards, 5 News has revealed.
An inquest into the death of Richard Wade, who died there in May 2015, has ruled that the state failed to protect his life.
“The history of serious incidents of self-harm at the Linden Centre is a matter of great concern that the new Trust has already recognised must be addressed.”
Spokesperson, Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
“Richard’s risk of suicide was not properly and adequately assessed and reviewed,” the jury recorded. “Adequate and appropriate precautions were not taken to manage Richard’s risk of suicide.”
These included failures in search policy at the time of the incident, quality of observation and that policies at the time and previous recommendations on risk and environmental factors were not implemented adequately. The Linden Centre was at the time run by the North Essex Partnership Trust.
Essex Police said: “We are investigating a number of deaths to ascertain whether there were any criminal failings of persons connected to the organisation.”
In 2008, 20-year-old Ben Morris was found hanged in his hospital room after attaching a ligature to a wardrobe. Since his death his mother Lisa Morris has been searching for answers to what happened.
Following Mr Morris’s death, the Trust wrote an action plan, promising to focus on “Assessment of Environmental Risk” – like dangerous furniture and fittings. But by 2012, two more patients had died. A man who used a window to attach a ligature, and 20-year-old Matthew Leahy who was found with a ligature attached to a door hinge.
The trust involved has now merged with another to become Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.
A spokesperson for the trust said: “The history of serious incidents of self-harm at the Linden Centre is a matter of great concern that the new Trust has already recognised must be addressed. The trust will fully support any police and HSE investigations.”