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Found 11 results
  1. Content Article
    Mr Malone was diagnosed with treatment resistant schizophrenia in 1983 and had been sectioned multiple times. In May 2023 he was diagnosed with adult autism. At a review on 31 May he was considered to be stable. On 15 June a routine clozapine review identified sub-therapeutic levels but this was not notified to his clinicians. Sub-therapeutic levels of clozapine are likely to have contributed to a worsening in his symptoms. Around 24 June he was noted to have suffered a significant deterioration – with symptoms of thought disorder, anxiety, and responding to hallucinations – and following a mental health act assessment on 28 June clinicians wanted to detain him under section 2. No inpatient psychiatric bed was available. Whilst he awaited a bed, he remained in the community with daily visits from the mental health team. Last contact was on 1 July when he accepted his medication and appeared more settled. There was no answer when he was visited on 2 July. His room at supported accommodation was entered on 3 July and he was found deceased. Recently he had expressed no suicidal ideation. Post-mortem examination confirmed the medical cause of death was:  1a Cervical spinal cord injury. 1b Laceration. The conclusion of the inquest was that death was the consequence of suicide.
  2. News Article
    A coroner has raised concerns about a mental heath trust where staff falsified records made on the night a man died. Eliot Harris, 48, died in the Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth, run by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), in April 2020. Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake said that, two years on, staff were still not recording observations properly. The 48-year-old, who had schizophrenia, had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act after he became agitated at his care home and refused to take medication. He was taken to Northgate Hospital and, after a period in a seclusion room, was transferred to a private room on the ward. Mr Harris was discovered unresponsive in bed during the early hours of 10 April and pronounced dead half an hour later. In a Prevention of Future Deaths Report (PFDR), Ms Lake said: "Quality audits undertaken following Eliot Harris's death, show that observations are still not being carried out and recorded in accordance with NSFT's most recent policy - more than two years following Eliot's death." She said that on the night Mr Harris died there was no nurse in charge and instead of being allocated specific tasks, staff were told to "muck in", causing confusion about job responsibilities. These issues were not resolved at the time of the inquest, she said, with no evidence provided about whether specific tasks were allocated on the night shift. Not all staff had been trained in recording observations, there was a lack of evidence about procedures for entering a patient's room over concerns for their welfare, and there was "still some way to go to make sure care plans are completed", Ms Lake said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 October 2022
  3. News Article
    A national strategy is needed to tackle health risks linked to antipsychotic drugs because current policy is letting tens of thousands of people fall through the gaps, commissioners in London are warning. Commissioners and clinicians in City and Hackney found more than 1,000 patients in their area who were on these drugs without having regular medication reviews or health checks. They warned that, if their findings applied across England, 100,000 patients could be in the same position. Although NHS England funds GP practices to carry out regular health checks on patients who are on the serious mental illness register, this excludes patients who are prescribed antipsychotics without having an SMI diagnosis — which typically covers psychoses, schizophrenia or bipolar active disorder. An audit by City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, carried out in July 2019 and shared with HSJ, found 1,200 patients in the area were taking antipsychotics but did not have a formal SMI diagnosis. The audit found most of these patients were not receiving regular health checks and a significant number may have benefited from having their medication reduced. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 27 January 2020
  4. Content Article
    This report details an independent investigation into a homicide committed by an individual receiving treatment for mental health issues. It identifies lessons that can be learned from this incident and areas where improvements to services could help prevent similar incidents occurring.
  5. Content Article
    This article in Translational and Clinical Pharmacology aims to highlight the need to reconsider current medication dosing strategies in reproductive women. It uses the example of schizophrenia to illustrate how a woman's clinical symptoms can change throughout the ovulatory cycle, leading to fluctuations in medication responses. The authors found that healthcare professionals need to consider hormonal and clinical changes that occur with the menstrual cycle when prescribing treatments. They also call for further research to increase knowledge of the issues and find better treatment strategies in women whose symptoms change with cyclical changes in ovarian hormones. However, they warn that results from such studies should never override the symptoms and treatment responses experienced by individual clinical patients.
  6. News Article
    “Unacceptable” failures by a mental health hospital to manage the physical healthcare of a woman detained under the mental health act contributed to her starving to death, The Independent has learned. A second inquest into the death of a 45-year-old woman, Jennifer Lewis, has found that the mental health hospital to which she was admitted “failed to manage her declining physical health” as she suffered from the effects of malnutrition. Ms Lewis had a long-term diagnosis of schizophrenia. Her family described how she had lived a full life, completed a degree, and given lectures about living with mental illness. However, after undergoing bariatric surgery, against the wishes of her family, her mental state declined and she was admitted to the Bracton Centre, run by Oxleas, in 2014. In an interview with The independent, her sister, Angela, described how, in the year before her death, Ms Lewis lost her hair, suffered from diarrhoea, and developed sores on her legs as she effectively “starved to death” from malnutrition. Ms Lewis’s sister told The Independent that in the year leading up to her death, when the family warned doctors she was “starving to death”, their concerns were dismissed and they were told that the hospital “will not let it come to that”. Mental health charity Rethink has called for improvements to physical healthcare for patients with severe mental illness, whose physical needs they say are “all too often ignored”, while experts at think tank the Centre for Mental Health have warned that patients with mental illness are dying too young as the system “still separates mental and physical health”. Read full story Source: The Independent, January 2022
  7. Content Article
    On 23 April 2020 Jaqueline Lake commenced an investigation into the death of Eliot Harris aged 48. Eliot had schizophrenia and diabetes. Eliot had not been taking medication for several days and his condition deteriorated. He was admitted to Northgate under the Mental Health Act after assessment on 5 April. He was initially in seclusion then on the ward from 6 April, he spent a lot of time in his room and only ate cheese sandwiches. He only accepted medication in intramuscular form and on 9 April by depot injection. His physical observations were recorded as being normal, and a blood test on 7 April showed he did not have diabetes. His intake of food and fluid remained minimal but he was not put on a chart to monitor this. Staff last entered his room at 17:46 on 9 April. He was last seen conscious at 18:10 on 9 April. He was found unresponsive at 01:33 and declared dead at 02:00.  The investigation concluded at the end of the inquest on 8 August 2022. Medical cause of death: 1a) Unascertained Conclusion: Open – the evidence does not reveal the means by which Eliot Harris came by his death.
  8. Content Article
    In this video, Chris tells his story of how he dealt with a traumatic childhood and subsequent diagnosis of schizophrenia. He talks about the medication and therapy that have helped him. Warning: The film does contain references to distressing themes.
  9. Content Article
    This blog by the charity Mental Health UK looks at an innovative project that aims to transform the way care and support are delivered to people living with severe mental illness in Grimsby and Bridgend. It aims to meet people’s mental health needs by providing tailored support, signposting them to specialist services to improve their quality of life, prevent the need for emergency crisis care and reduce pressure on acute medical services. The project is being run in conjunction with healthcare company Johnson & Johnson UK, with the support of the local NHS. The project involves Community Mental Health Navigators supporting the non-medical needs of people living with severe mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder. They provide support with aspects of people’s lives which can drive poor mental health, such as housing, money problems, employment, physical wellbeing and lack of social connections.
  10. Content Article
    In this article, Rachel Star Withers shares her account of receiving electroconvulsive therapy to treat her severe depression and schizophrenia while in her final year at college. She describes how the treatment robbed her of her memory, reading and writing abilities, but saved her life. Without ECT, Rachel believe she would have committed suicide. She talks about the need to educate people about the realities of ECT and undo unhelpful 'horror-story' stereotypes.
  11. Content Article
    This blog published by the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) tells the story of Mark, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia 15 years ago, aged 15. It describes the issues he and his mother faced in getting him the care he needed, including being treated inappropriately and without dignity during emergency department visits, problems accessing ongoing community support and a reluctance to assist him with reducing his medication dosage. It also highlights how his family were not included in care plans and treatment decisions, and their needs as carers were rarely considered.
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