Calls to make im­prove­ments af­ter three pa­tients die

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Race For Life -

Fail­ings were iden­ti­fied at men­tal health ser­vices in Kent in the wake of three deaths last year – in­clud­ing one be­ing treated in Ash­ford.

Kent and Med­way NHS and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship Trust (KMPT), which pro­vides in­pa­tient and com­mu­nity ser­vices across the county, was told to make im­prove­ments fol­low­ing the pa­tients’ deaths.

The fail­ings have been re­vealed fol­low­ing a Free­dom of Information Act re­quest by the Kent Mes­sen­ger.

Warnings came from coro­ners, who used so-called Reg­u­la­tion 28 pow­ers which al­low them to make rec­om­men­da­tions to bod­ies to change to pre­vent fur­ther fa­tal­i­ties.

The sui­cides of ar­chi­tect Joanna Bowring, 32, and a 54-year-old woman from Can­ter­bury high­lighted fail­ings, as well as the death of a Dover man.

Miss Bowring was hit by a high­speed train at Box­ley in June af­ter be­ing de­nied in-pa­tient care at Med­way Mar­itime Hos­pi­tal.

A coro­ner voiced con­cerns her par­ents, who were car­ing for her, were not ad­e­quately in­volved in her treat­ment or in­formed of ‘red flags’ to look out for.

An­other woman hanged her­self last April af­ter be­ing taken to St Martin’s Hos­pi­tal, Can­ter­bury, un­der the men­tal health act fol­low­ing an at­tempted sui­cide.

She was dis­charged with a care plan and was con­tacted by the trust’s cri­sis team the fol­low­ing day which re­ported she was sui­ci­dal.

Sev­eral ef­forts were made to con­tact her but her fam­ily weren’t in­formed. She was found dead at home by po­lice more than 24 hours later.

An inquest found the pro­to­col for when to re­quest a wel­fare check was not clear and even af­ter steps were taken by KMPT to ed­u­cate staff, a shift-co­or­di­na­tor re­mained un­clear on trust pol­icy.

Schizophrenic Karl Wil­liams, 49, from Dover, died in Septem­ber af­ter step­ping in front of a lorry.

He had dis­charged him­self from the Wil­liam Har­vey Hos­pi­tal, Ash­ford, af­ter cut­ting his wrists. He had been wait­ing for two hours and there was no on-duty psy­chi­atric spe­cial­ist present.

A coro­ner ad­vised steps should be taken to en­sure round-the­clock psy­chi­atric care is avail­able at the hos­pi­tal’s A&E depart­ment.

A KMPT spokesman said full in­ves­ti­ga­tions were car­ried out into the three Reg­u­la­tion 28 in­ci­dents and im­me­di­ate ac­tion taken.

They added: “Pa­tient and staff safety is our ab­so­lute pri­or­ity. We take all in­ci­dents se­ri­ously, act upon and take learn­ing where pos­si­ble. We have re­sponded to the Reg­u­la­tion 28 re­ports and have set out the steps we will be tak­ing.”

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