Trust under fire for falling short on safeguarding

THE mental health trust in charge of looking after a young man who was found dead while in its care has been challenged over why it is not meeting safeguarding requirements.

Melanie Leahy, whose son Matthew died while in Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust’s (EPUT) care, has written voicing her own criticism.

A report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in October rated EPUT as ‘good’ overall. But it was criticised for its safeguarding procedure, for which it was rated ‘requires improvement’.

The report said the trust did not ensure staff changed their practice following incidents.

Andy Wood, who is appointed by the county council as a governor for EPUT, said: “As governors we are quite concerned that over the years they have good results.

“But every time we look at the CQC report, the same things keeps cropping up that it requires improvement on safeguarding and that has been happening for two or three years.

“The trust is not learning from that.

“I and some of the other governors are going to make a point in finding out why safeguarding requires improvement.

“Mrs Leahy, whose son unfortunately died in the trust, has pointed that out to us.

“It needs to be sorted.”

In November 2012 20-year-old Matthew Leahy was found hanged in his room at the Linden Centre in Chelmsford.

Mrs Leahy launched a petition asking parliament to debate her request for a full public inquiry into her son’s death, which reached the threshold of 100,000 signatures with just two hours to spare before the cut off at midnight on November 5.

She told the trust: “This latest report gives me absolutely no confidence that the trust has taken the deaths of so many on its wards seriously.

“If it had, the changes needed would have been made immediately across the wards and this report and the evidence that is being sent in regularly, regarding sleeping staff on your wards and many other issues, would not be available.

“I do not anticipate it very long before it is announced a further unnecessary inpatient death, on your wards.”

EPUT has been approached for comment but did not respond by the time of going to press.


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