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Mental health trust failed to heed safety warnings, campaigners say

A mental health trust linked to thousands of unexpected patient deaths repeatedly failed to act on coroners' safety warnings, campaigners say.

BBC News has been given exclusive access to new evidence from coroners' reports gathered by a campaign group.

It wants a criminal investigation into why so many patients died at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust - and has sent police the evidence.

Campaigners, including patients and bereaved families, claim it is failing to make vital safety improvements despite promising to do so.

Last summer, a report found more than 8,000 mental-health patients had died unexpectedly in Norfolk and Suffolk between 2019 and 2022. This is defined as the death of a patient who has not been identified as critically ill or whose death is not expected by the clinical team.

The new evidence, based on 38 coroners' prevention of future death (PFD) reports since 2013, suggests there were repeated warnings more patients could die unless safety issues were addressed, including:

  • dangerously poor record-keeping and communication
  • family concerns being ignored
  • unsafe levels of staffing at the trust.

And campaigners say the trust's failure to improve safety has led to more deaths.

Read full story

Source: BBC News, 12 March 2024


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