The Essex Mental Health Independent Inquiry has been established to review the care and treatment pathways and the circumstances and practices surrounding the deaths of mental health inpatients. The Inquiry will investigate the deaths which took place in mental health inpatient facilities across NHS Trusts in Essex between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2020. It will draw conclusions in relation to the safety and quality of care provided locally and nationally to mental health inpatients. The Inquiry intends to publish a report in spring 2023.
The Inquiry will investigate deaths which took place in inpatient mental health settings within the former North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, the former South Essex Partnership University Trust and the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust that took over responsibility for mental health services in Essex from 2017.
Issues that the Inquiry will consider:
- key factors that led to the deaths of mental health inpatients who were under the care of the Trust(s), including care and treatment pathways;
- the role, involvement, and communication with the patient and their families, carers, or other members of their support network in the patient’s care;
- the culture, leadership, and governance that may have impacted on the ability of the Trust(s) to improve inpatient safety, treatment, and care and reduce inpatient deaths;
- the quality of previous investigations into mental health inpatient deaths, the conclusions and recommendations of those investigations, and the response by the Trust(s) and the wider system;
- recommendations for the Trust(s) to ensure action is taken so that current and future mental health inpatients receive appropriate and safe treatment and care; and,
- further recommendations for the Trust(s), mental health services, the NHS, and the wider system.