A mother fighting for a public inquiry into the death of her son and more than 20 other patients at an NHS mental health hospital in Essex has won a debate in parliament after more than 100,000 people backed her campaign.
On Monday, MPs in the House of Commons will debate Melanie Leahy’s petition calling for a public inquiry into the death of her son Matthew in 2012, as well as 24 other patients who died at The Linden Centre, a secure mental health unit in Chelmsford, Essex, since 2000.
The centre is run by Essex Partnership University NHS Trust which has been heavily criticised by regulators over the case.
A review by the health service ombudsman found 19 serious failings in his care and the NHS response to his mother’s concerns.
This included staff changing records after his death to suggest he had a full care plan in place when he didn’t.
Matthew was detained under the Mental Health Act but was found hanged in his room seven days later. He had made allegations of being raped at the centre, but this was not taken seriously by staff nor properly investigated by the NHS.
The trust has admitted Matthew’s care fell below acceptable standards.
In November, it pleaded guilty to health and safety failings linked to 11 deaths of patients in 11 years.
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Source: The Independent, 29 November 2020