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Trust ‘reviewing hundreds of patients’ after failings discovered

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The suicide of a woman with severe mental illness has prompted a review into the care of hundreds of other patients, according to her family.

Frances Wellburn, 56, was under the care of Tees, Esk and Wear Valley Foundation Trust’s community mental health team in York, which before the coronavirus pandemic had categorised her as “medium risk”.

This meant she should have had regular contact from the service, but an internal serious incident report into her death, seen by HSJ, found no contact was made with her for three months.

In June 2020 she required admission to an inpatient unit for three weeks, but she deteriorated again after being discharged and took her own life in August.

Her family have said Ms Wellburn was making a “good recovery” from episodes of psychosis prior to the pandemic, but the lack of support in the spring of last year had contributed to a major deterioration in her condition.

According to sister, Rebecca Wellburn, the trust’s director of nursing Elizabeth Moody confirmed in a meeting with the family that a wider review had now been launched into the care of hundreds of patients under its York-based community services.

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Source: HSJ, 28 April 2021

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