Sussex Partnership Trust and admitted liability

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Sussex Police.

Dear Sussex Police,

I believe in January 2010 Sussex Police were investigating deaths at Sussex Partnership Trust and one of those deaths was Susannah Anley.There was talk of a case under the Corporate Manslaughter Act.

It seems when John Blair, 40, of Elphinstone Road, Hastings, was also found hanging in his room at the same facility on October 19, police decided to look back at other deaths at the trust's facilities.
Then Police Sargent Richard Bexhell was also found hanged at SPT Woodlands Unit and Detective Chief Inspector Trevor Bowles in charge of the investigation said: “Sussex Police major crime branch are investigating circumstances relating to the deaths of four people.

I believe the Investigation was halted through lack of evidence therefore can I ask how Sussex Police could find no evidence against SPT,when SPT have now admitted liability in the case of Susannah Anley

Will Sussex police now be re-opening inquiries on the other deaths too?

Yours faithfully,

D. Speers

Gadawodd D. Speers anodiad ()

There was talk that SPT were being looked at with a view to charges under the Corporate Manslaughter Act then the police said they found no evidence and halted the investigation.

SPT have now admitted liability, after keeping her husband waiting over two years for justice.

The Article reads "A MENTAL health hospital where a suicidal woman suffocated herself with a plastic bag has apologised to her family and said it was at fault for the death.

Susannah Anley, 34, was found dead at the Woodlands unit on The Ridge in April 2008, just a day after she was sectioned for her own safety. Hers was one of four suicides at the centre of a police investigation into the Sussex Partnership trust which runs the hospital, which was later dropped without charge.

Woodlands was closed in October last year and reopened this summer after a refurbishment designed to make it more difficult for patients to hurt themselves. When plastic bags were still seen on the unit, it appears the management team said they were only there for a photo shoot.

But this week the trust has written to Mark Anley, Susannah’s widower, with an unreserved apology and an admission of liability.

Mrs Anley had been battling post traumatic stress disorder for eight years and had tried to kill herself on several occasions when doctors and social workers took the decision to have her sectioned. Speaking out this week, Mr Anley relived the awful moment he found out about his wife’s death and criticised the way the trust had handled the case. He said: “On the day Susannah was admitted she was obviously very distressed, but when I phoned her the next morning she seemed reasonably well. However, when I arrived later that afternoon I saw an ambulance outside. When I went inside a staff nurse led me straight into a room and broke the news that Susannah was dead.

“From the beginning the trust seemed to have no explanation for what had happened. The nurse simply broke the news and let me get straight into my car and drive away. There was no offer of support.”

His solicitor, Paul Sankey, of Russell Jones & Walker, added: “While the apology and admission is welcomed Mr Anley has waited for two years for this. We are pleased the trust has altered its practices to ensure such devastating events don’t reoccur.”

No date has yet been set for Mrs Anley’s inquest, but a spokesman for the Sussex Partnership trust refused to comment on the apology. He said: “This is a tragic case and we extend our deepest condolences to Mr Anley for his loss. We are, however, unable to say anything more publicly about the case until after the inquest is over.”

The trust has offered to meet Mr Anley on several occasions and that invitation still stood, he added.

This is the agreed press release, a previous one appeared, which incorrectly said the deceased husband had accepted payment from SPT...I understand this is untrue!!

Sussex Police

Dear Mr Speers

Thank you for your request which was received by Sussex Police today.

This request will be dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and you will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, from the
date of receipt. In some circumstances Sussex Police may be unable to
achieve this deadline. If this is likely you will be informed and given
a revised time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Disclosure Officer
Freedom of Information Unit, Corporate Development Department
Direct Dial: 01273 404048 Internal Ext: 45251

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Sussex Police,

Thank you for your prompt response, I will await your answer with interest.

Yours faithfully,

D. Speers

Sussex Police

1 Atodiad

Gadawodd A.Whiting anodiad ()

NHS Trust criticised over mental patient death
Thursday, February 28th, 2013

An inquest jury at Hove Crown Court has reached a verdict of ‘death from hanging whilst suffering a mental health illness’ in the disturbing case of a Brighton man found dead at his home. Rachel Heelis of Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors acted on behalf of the deceased’s identical twin brother at the inquest, which lasted 2½ weeks.

Patrick Whiting, who had previously attempted suicide, died at home a few days after being discharged from a mental health unit. He suffered from known mental health problems, including anxiety, delusions and psychotic depression. In March 2012, he had attempted to take his own life by plunging 30 metres onto electrified railway tracks near his home.

He survived the fall and was admitted to hospital with spinal fractures and bruising. During his time at the hospital, Patrick gave a suicide note to his twin brother Andrew who passed it to staff. A copy of the suicide note wasn’t kept with his medical notes. Having been ‘sectioned’ under the Mental Health Act, he was later transferred to a secure unit run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust at Conquest Hospital, St Leonards.

In May 2012, following a relatively short period of acute care, Mr Whiting was deemed to be in a sufficiently stable mental state to be released from the unit, which was experiencing a beds shortage at the time. He was sent back to his own home.

Arrangements were made for daily support from Brighton Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team, an alternative to hospitalisation whose core interventions include relapse prevention and identification of triggers. Three days after he was returned to his home, his twin brother found him hanging in his bedroom.

“The inquest heard about a number of disturbing aspects to this tragic case, which had led the NHS Trust concerned to issue an apology to Patrick Whiting’s family,” comments Rachel Heelis. “Patrick’s brother Andrew, my client, had previously worked as a mental health nurse with the Sussex Partnership Trust and acted as his carer, yet he was neither consulted nor informed about his twin’s progress in the weeks before his death.

“We found that managers had made decisions to alter this vulnerable patient’s treatment without consulting clinicians and called him to a meeting about this without telling his treatment team. His original care plan involved graded leave prior to discharge, but he was returned to his flat without having set foot outside the ward. Staff also failed to note the deterioration in his mental health at the prospect of going home.

“Ambiguity surrounded whether Patrick Whiting was on leave or being discharged. Either way, the home treatment team had grave concerns that he had left hospital too soon. His long-term mental health medication had been changed, but staff had not properly monitored its effectiveness, nor had adequate account been taken of a suicide note written by the patient when first admitted, nor of a shoelace found around his neck the day before discharge.”

The inquest was told that, as Patrick Whiting’s carer, his brother Andrew was given no copy of his treatment plan or care plan and that the patient was sent home without his medication. His flat was said to be in a state of disrepair, aggravating his fear of going back there. The morning prior to his death, he had shown the home treatment team a noose he had made with a black dressing gown cord, this was the same noose he would use to hang himself hours later. The nurses failed to confiscate it or arrange for his readmission to hospital, or even tell his brother, who was in the house during the visit, of the incident.

“Andrew found Patrick hanging the following morning and it has since been established that the same dressing gown cord had been used,” Rachel Heelis adds. “This tragedy for Patrick has also been an appalling ordeal for Andrew. It is right that the NHS Trust has acknowledged significant failings and is at last making appropriate changes, though sadly too late for Patrick.

“This was a lengthy and complex inquest and I should like to pay tribute to the jury, who had to consider various issues of fact, law and medical evidence. After deliberating for 1½ days, their unanimous verdict that Patrick Whiting died from hanging whilst suffering a mental health illness included a conclusion that ‘his mental health had been deteriorating for a number of weeks and this was not sufficiently recognised by staff and his risk was not adequately managed’.”

The jury’s verdict reflected acceptance that Patrick Whiting’s discharge from acute psychiatric hospital was premature and carried out in a confused manner. This resulted in him having an unclear leave plan, of which individuals had differing understandings, and incorrect quantities of medication. The care plan identified Patrick Whiting as high risk and having a low threshold for readmission to hospital. An obvious deterioration in his mental health was not acted upon and he should have been immediately readmitted.

“Various issues contributed to Patrick Whiting’s deteriorating mental health and untimely death,” Rachel Heelis summarises. “These included a catalogue of failings related to an inadequate care plan, lack of communication, administrative shortcomings and poor monitoring of medication and other influences upon his mental state. Lessons must be learned from this and the Coroner confirmed at the close of the inquest that she will be sending the Secretary of State for Health a ‘Rule 43 Report’ about her concerns on a national level to help prevent further deaths occurring.”

Gadawodd D. Speers anodiad ()

Very disturbing case A Whiting....thank you for posting!

Gadawodd A.E. anodiad ()

This is Section 30:

"This guidance explains to public authorities how the exemption provided by section 30 protects criminal investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities "

"Section 30 is subject to the public interest test. In applying the public interest test it is important to recognise that the purpose of the exemption is to protect the effective investigation and prosecution
of offences and the protection of confidential sources."

"Circumstances influencing the public interest in maintaining
the exemption include;

o the stage of the investigation or prosecution,
o the extent to which the same or other information is in the public domain,
o the value of information obtained from confidential sources,
o the significance of the information, particularly in terms of whether it would reveal any flaws in an investigation or set of proceedings. "

It would seem to me that this Section has therefore been abused! I would challenge this - they are banking on the public not reading or understanding these Sections of the Act. If they failed to investigate or prosecute, or if any investigation is concluded, I fail to see how releasing information could prejudice anything.

This is Section 40:

I would be asking for how this can apply when the individuals concerned are deceased...

Gadawodd D. Speers anodiad ()

Thank you for your annotation A.E . really useful information.Just a shame I knew very little re official stuff in 2010.....often relied on "gut instinct"!
I hope campaigners can use it more wisely now!

Gadawodd James Plant anodiad ()

I know of another case where Sussex Partnership NHS Trust should be prosecuted for the death of one of their patients. They were 100% responsible for the death of James Corin in 2005.

James was being held as an inpatient in Downsview ward, Haywards Heath under Section 3. He expressed suicidal thoughts and presented with depression on 2 November 2005. His consultant, Pablo Jeczmien, who appears to have been suspended by the GMC, allowed James 24 hours home leave on 3 November 2005, despite James advising him that he felt suicidal in a ward round the previous day. Within 3 hours of leaving the hospital for his leave, James was dead. He burned to death in his garden that afternoon. The circumstances of his death were all covered up.

Sussex Partnership NHS Trust never admitted liability but complaints about the way James was treated were made through the NHS system in which the Trust obstructed and lied throughout. In the end these complaints were upheld by the Health Ombudsman. The Chief Executive of the Trust at the time was one Liz Rodrigues who seems to have held this post over a period of time when thousands of her patients died due to gross and reckless negligence.

I was told by one health professional close to Jeczmien that "very many of his patients have died and all sorts of other things have happened, it has all been covered up".

I understand that patients have been falied and mistreated over a period of decades. This calls for a public enquiry, and prosecutions not whitewash by Police.

Gadawodd D. Speers anodiad ()

Couldnt agree more James!....sadly system failure seems to be the default setting and worth having a look at Same CEO still in situ and thus same system failures it seems. Am going to post this again on Twitter. Lets see if we can get some accountability!

Gadawodd James Plant anodiad ()

I would be willing to start up an action group, or something along those lines. I know more, much more, about the vast numbers of people who have died and been mistreated by the mental health services of Sussex Partnership NHS Trust.

When the Police were undertaking their investigation, I spoke to someone in The Argus paper in Brighton who was researching this. I was told that from what people had disclosed, the facts indicated this was more than a series of mistakes and people were being killed in effect.

Gadawodd D. Speers anodiad ()

I am on Twitter as @joinedU1 if you are on there...I have further info. Meanwhile I'll post this link on Twitter and someone may be in contact!

Gadawodd A.E. anodiad ()

This Trust does lie, I have proof of it.
What disgusts and perplexes me is that the latest CQC inspection found them to be "good".

Gadawodd D. Speers anodiad ()

Couldnt agree more......thanks James for offer of an action group....maybe its only way! Will be in touch!

Gadawodd Mary Parnwell anodiad ()

All this is really helpful. Our friend died by suicide after being wrongly discharged by SPFT in January 2022. Thanks for sharing your experiences.