Thursday, February 11, 2010

NHS = Noose Health Services - Four Deaths : Police Investigate


Health Service Journal (Subscription Only) - on 22nd Jan and the Independent on 21st Jan have reported on four suicides/deaths of patients at the :

Police are investigating these matters . Some of these deaths are by hanging .

Trusts as from 2007 can now also come under investigation under the provisions of

Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007.
Police said the investigation into the trust, which provides mental health care throughout East and West Sussex, would be "wide-ranging and exploratory". Inquiries began following the death of Sussex Police Sergeant Richard Bexhell, 49, who was found hanged at the Woodlands unit in Hastings and later died in hospital on August 30 last year.

When John Blair, 40, from Hastings, was found hanged in his room at the same unit on October 19, police decided to look back at other deaths at the trust. The other two deaths relate to those of 35-year-old Susanna Anley, who is understood to have suffocated herself with a plastic bag in April 2008 at Woodlands, and Michael Stevens, 53, from Lancing, who hanged himself with a belt in his room at the Meadowfield unit in Worthing.

A public statement has been made by the Sussex Trust below . Its worth looking closely at the way this Trust is run financially too. It's not without considerable pressure from Gov't that Trusts are expected to deliver using very lean management techniques which can mean a lack of staff sometimes produced by the desire to keep in budget and also create the magical surpluses which can be used later for "patient benefit". This trust in fact made a £7.4 million surplus which finally reduced after other costs were taken from it to a £3.5 million surplus..

At least one death points to failure to implement policies it has be asked why that was . Staff ratio problems ? Not enough manpower ?
"Michael Stevens, 53, from Lancing, hanged himself in his room at the Meadowfield unit in Worthing. An inquest into his death last year heard Mr Stevens, a hospital porter, was able to hang himself following a “breakdown in communication” and a failure to implement observation policies."
Statement issued by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in response to story in The Argus on 22 January 2010As an organisation, we value our close working relationship with Sussex Police. We are fully supporting the police with their investigations and will continue to help them. We have over 600,000 contacts a year with people who depend on us for support with mental health, learning disability and substance misuse problems; it is vital that our service users feel confident about the services that we provide. Of the total number of people we support, approximately 10 percent are admitted to hospital. These patients are very ill and sadly a high proportion are suicidal.

There are around 120 suicides of patients being treated in psychiatric hospitals in England. Every suicide is clearly a tragedy and if it happens on one of our wards, we follow a very detailed review process based on national best practice. The four deaths of patients referred to in recent press reports – two in 2008 and two in 2009 – have been the subject of detailed reviews in line with our own internal policies and the requirements of our regulator, the Care Quality Commission. These reviews do not always highlight failings; in many instances it is only with hindsight that it is possible to identify potential changes or improvements. When we do identify a failing, however, we take action and ensure that changes are made to address it. The policies that support our delivery of clinical care are based on national guidelines and reviewed by external agencies including the National Health Service Litigation Authority. We ensure that what we learn from every incident is shared across our organisation and actions fully implemented. In the cases of the most recent, extremely sad deaths, these internal reviews are currently being completed. Following the Woodlands deaths we closed the unit to conduct a full safety assessment and have commissioned an independent review which will be validated by the National Patient Safety Agency. This reflects our absolute commitment to scrutinising every aspect of these tragedies, and being clear and open about any failings that are identified. The inquests for three of the people who died are still to take place. Sussex Partnership has extended our deepest sympathy to the families of those who have died and the results of our reviews are being shared with the families and Her Majesty’s Coroner.

Editors Note:
Please see refer to the following statement from our Chair John Bacon regarding the planned resignation of Lisa Rodrigues, Chief Executive Officer. Ms Rodrigues will be leaving Sussex Partnership in August 2010.

Leading NHS Chief Executive to move on after nine years at the top
Lisa Rodrigues, Chief Executive at one the country’s largest mental health, learning disability and substance misuse trusts, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has announced plans to move on after nine years at the top. Appointed to Sussex Partnership in January 2006, having been Chief Executive of initially one, latterly two predecessor NHS trusts since 2001, Lisa can be credited for putting the people who use mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services on the map in Sussex. On announcing her decision to go this summer, as one of the Sussex’s longest serving NHS Chief Executives Lisa said: “I believe that all NHS staff, whether working at the frontline or in supporting roles, should maintain a healthy work-life balance in order to provide the best possible services. “After almost nine years running mental health services in Sussex I will be taking a break from top level NHS management to concentrate on fulfilling some personal goals including a 1,000 mile bike ride with my husband and writing two books”.

Lisa has given Sussex Partnership over six months notice in order to enable a full and open recruitment process for the new chief executive to be undertaken. “Having made such a big decision”, she saysI am very much looking forward to my new life but I will miss Sussex Partnership. The enthusiasm and dedication of staff at the Trust to continue improving services is second to none and a credit to the NHS”.

John Bacon CB, Chair of Sussex Partnership said:Lisa’s contribution to mental health services in Sussex has been immense. Her passion and commitment for improving mental health, learning disabilities and substance misuse services has seen the Trust go from strength to strength and on behalf of Sussex Partnership I would like to thank her for her tremendous work.

In the past two years”, John continued “the Trust has achieved both good and excellent ratings from it regulators and now provides services that are well regarded by the people who use them. Under Lisa’s leadership the Trust has prepared with great care for the economic downturn, including producing our new strategy Better by Design and a complete overhaul of management and administrative posts. The new strategy will enable us to continue to improve the quality and efficiency of everything we do”.

Until she hands over to her successor it is still business as usual for Lisa who will continue to lead the implementation of the Trust’s Better by Design strategy and working with staff, partners and the people who use our services to ensure they get the services they deserve.

1. Extra Financial Information From Sussex Partnership Trust Annual report 2009 BELOW :
01/08/08 - 31/03/09

NOTE £000
Income from activities 144,880
Other operating income 7,064
Operating expenses (144,457)
Profit on disposal of fixed assets 2
Finance income 437
Finance cost - interest expense 0
Other net gains/(losses) on financial instruments 0
Other finance costs - unwinding of discount (19)
Other finance costs - change in discount rate on provisions 0
Taxation 0

SURPLUS AFTER TAXATION AND MINORITY INTEREST 7,907 Public Dividend Capital dividends payable (4,373) RETAINED SURPLUS FOR THE PERIOD 3,534
Notes 1 to 23 form part of these accounts. All income and expenditure is derived from continuing operations.. 2. FURTHER INFORMATION BELOW BY CARE QUALITY COMMISSION 2009
"Is there evidence that the safety of staff and service users is ensured?"
"Is there an infrastructure in place that promotes safety?"

Monday, January 25, 2010

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