Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Who Cares Kills ? - The Case of Humber Mental Health Trust NHS UK


The BBC 5th May 2009 report on the 2005 killing of a 31 year old mother of five also pregnant with twins, by a Paranoid Schizophrenic has other concerning systemic story-weaves within it . The BBC report, states :

"Benjamin Holiday, 25, a paranoid schizophrenic, killed Tina Stevenson in Hull after missing his medication. An independent investigation found his mental health problem was "under-treated" and his condition should have been "more assertively managed".

On NowPublic.com a number of stories (See at the bottom of this story) on Art De River's channel demonstrates a link between under-serving patients in the UK NHS (even sometimes killing them) and NHS Trusts clearing debts or making non-profit surpluses as the now new Gov't idealised "Foundation Trusts" (FT's) .

This particular pattern of new NHS FT ambitions and related financial activity coupled with risk to patients, has been happening over years and in the case of Benjamin Holiday, the Humber Mental Health Trust (HMHT) has been like other Trusts - practicing lean management - to clear "debt".

This "debt" though, arguably it has to be repeated, is often the result of rationed allowances from the Dept Of Health.. One might term the "debt" consistent underpayment for patient need in reality . Considering the amount of money the UK Gov't can find for banks it does rather create a new perspective on UK health economics too . Some of the public may feel the NHS should become a bank.

The Humber Mental Health Trust though has been trying to make surpluses because a key factor in its performance is to become a "Foundation Trust" and to do so it has to put in its bid to the Independent FT Regulator : MONITOR - with a "healthy" balance and surplus in evidence ..

The incentive to become and FT is not purely idealistic because it is clear that Monitor will look for take-over-mergers where NHS Hospital Trusts fail to become FT's and that means top-job losses ..

From the Humber MHT's accounts :

It is into this new NHS shaping context that the rush to perform and become FT's must be seen and in which patient's care (or patient care being compromised) is part of the weave .

In the years 2005 and 2006 the Humber MHT achieved a small surplus but redundancy costs meant they reduced staff and paid for it . That's like reducing care and then paying again for the reduction of it .

Benjamin Holliday was as the BBC states "undertreated" - well he would be if they were not enough staff .

The BBC report also states :

"The Trust also apologised after being criticised over the care of a mentally-ill man who killed his elderly mother in 2003 Michael Torrie, then aged 43, cut his 82-year-old mother Ivy's throat at their home in Pocklington, East Yorkshire, after a "rapid reduction" in his medication, the report said."

Subsequently Humber Mental Health Trust has made another surplus in 2007 - 8 . Its a Trust that needs watching carefully .

From 2007 - 2008 HMHT Accounts :

"Summary of the financial year : This was a successful year financially for our Trust with all statutory duties being achieved together with a surplus for the year of £353,000 which meant that the target surplus of 0.5% of relevant income was achieved."

See also : other story links from NowPublic.com Channel showing where NHS Trusts have made surpluses and patients have been under-served and/or sometimes have died .

1. Mid Staff NHS Trust £886k surplus

2. Birmingham Children's Hospital £2.3 Million

3. South London and Maudsley MH Trust £5 + million

4. Kingston Hospital Trust £2.7 million

See Also Other UserWatch Stories (Surpluses versus Care) Below :

5. Bedford and Luton MH Trust

6. Bradford MH Trust £550 K / Death of Jonathon Brannan

7 Islington Mental Health Trust Colville Marks ref £1.7 Million

Interesting Links :

Wife Of A Schitzophrenic

Ron Peponis Blog

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