Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

The BBC has revealed the findings of a leaked report on Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust - 1,454 unexpected deaths between April 2011 and March 2015:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35061716

Please provide details of the number of complaints you received about Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust between April 2011 and March 2015 that concerned deaths.

Please specify how you disposed of all these complaints – fully upheld, partially upheld, assessment made, no case to answer etc

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

foiofficer@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

You read my mind J. Roberts. Excellent question. Just how did Southern Health get away with such poor investigative processes for so long?

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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This message has been classified as Sensitive.

 

Dear J Roberts

 

RE: Your information request – our reference: FDN 242980

 

I am writing in response to your freedom of information request dated 11
December 2015 in which you asked for the following information:

 

“The BBC has revealed the findings of a leaked report on Southern Health
NHS Foundation Trust - 1,454 unexpected deaths between April 2011 and
March 2015: [1]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35061716.

Please provide details of the number of complaints you received about
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust between April 2011 and March 2015
that concerned deaths.

Please specify how you disposed of all these complaints fully upheld,
partially upheld, assessment made, no case to answer etc.”

If you would like to access NHS England’s full report entitled Independent
review of deaths of people with a Learning Disability or Mental Health
problem in contact with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust April 2011 to
March 2015 please visit their website or click on the link:
[2]www.england.nhs.uk/south/wpcontent/uploads/sites/6/2015/12/mazars-rep.pdf.
If you have any questions about the report please contact NHS England.

 

Turning to your information request, we have interpreted your request for
complaints ‘that concerned deaths’ to be for complaints where there was a
potentially avoidable death.

 

Please find attached at table 1 (Annex A) the number of complaints the
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) received about Southern
Health NHS Foundation Trust between the business years 2011/12 and
2014/15. At table 2 are the number of complaints we closed in the same
business years, which also includes the number of investigations we closed
and their outcomes. Please note when viewing the data, a complaint is not
always closed in the same business year that it was received, as such the
figures in the two tables should be looked at separately.

 

At table 3 are the number of complaints we received about Southern Health
NHS Foundation Trust which we flagged with the casework theme ‘potential
avoidable death’ and at table 4 are the cases we closed in the same
business years. Again please note when viewing the data, a complaint is
not always closed in the same business year that it was received, as such
the figures in the two tables should be looked at separately.

 

I hope the released data is helpful.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Sohifa Kadir

FOI/DP Officer

 

 

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All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve
the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

References

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1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35061716
2. http://www.england.nhs.uk/south/wpconten...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

170 complaints were closed between the years 2011/12 and 2013/14 about Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

2 were fully upheld
3 were partly upheld

A person looking at the PHSO figures alone could be forgiven for thinking that things were fine at the Trust.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

correction:

170 complaints were closed between the years 2011/12 and 2014/15 about Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

2 were fully upheld
3 were partly upheld

A person looking at the PHSO figures alone could be forgiven for thinking that things were fine at the Trust.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

I wouid presume that the families of the 337 patients who 'unexpectedly died' might disagree with the Ombudsman's
'Case closed - get lost ' verdicts.

http://justiceforlb.org/justiceforlb-bri...

https://www.england.nhs.uk/south/wp-cont...

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

The Ombudsman failed to raise the alert on the Mid Staffordshire scandal by basically refusing to investigate any cases. They failed to identify the systemic failures in maternity care at Morecambe Bay for much the same reason. Saying to James Titcombe that the internal investigation was robust and identified all the problems. (Proved wrong by the independent Kirkup Inquiry) Now in 2015/16 they have failed to identify inadequate investigations into unexpected deaths at Southern Health.

What exactly is the point of this 'watchdog' who does nothing more than watch from the sidelines and then wag a finger when all the dirty cover up is exposed?

164 cases were received for the time period, only 3% upheld to any degree. 97% were turned away with nothing. Yet Dame Julie Mellor told PACAC on 12.1.16 that PHSO were adept at spotting poor investigation processes and where this occurred it would mean automatic maladministration. So why didn't they?

I have to agree with J. Roberts that according to PHSO data no flags would be raised that Southern Health was a failing institution, yet we now know that it failed thousands of families.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

'Southern Health admitted to "systemic failures" and pleaded guilty in 2017 to breaching health and safety laws.

Passing sentence at Oxford Crown Court, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said each death was an "unnecessary human tragedy".

The trust will pay £950,000 for Mrs Colvin's death and just over £1m for that of Connor Sparrowhawk.

The judge said the penalty was "a just and proportionate outcome that marks the seriousness of the Trust's offending, the terrible consequences of that offending, and the other material factors that I have indicated". '

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-435...

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

Not just Southern Health, PHSO also failed to detect systemic failure at the Liverpool Community Health Trust. Don't look and you don't see is their motto.

https://phsothetruestory.com/2018/03/27/...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Thanks for the information on the Liverpool health Community Trust.

“Patients put their faith in the NHS, and they should be able to trust that dangerous and dysfunctional services will be dealt with immediately. Sadly that has not been the case here and it took the help of a local MP to sound the alarm, and many years for the full facts to emerge,” said Jeremy Taylor, chief executive of National Voices, a coalition of more than 150 health and social care charities.

Despite the serious concerns, not one of the complaints made to the PHSO about the Trust was 'upheld'.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

For anyone interested in taking legal action against the NHS this edition of Unreliable Evidence might be of interest:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09xkqn0

'The cost of negligence claims against the NHS has quadrupled to £1.6bn in the decade since 2006 as the number of claims has nearly tripled and claimants' legal costs have risen from £77m to £487m. The spiralling compensation bill is putting huge financial pressure on the NHS and threatens to force doctors out of the profession.'

It seems that the government is keen cut costs, but I don't see how they this is possible without making it more difficult for litigants to succeed.

One explanation given for the increasing costs was a change inthe interest payable on awards from 2.5 per cent to -0.75 per cent. This means that an award to a twenty-one-year-old of £9 million increases to £25 million.

One guest was a no-win-no-fee lawyer. He explained that his firm rejects 85 per cent of cases brought to them. Of the ones they accept, 90 per cent are settled once court proceedings are threatened (this is after the NHS has first refused to accept liability). The national figure settled in similar circumstances is 73 per cent.

Claims against GPs have doubled in the past seven years. In 83 per cent of cases doctors are found not to be negligent.

Trusts pay 3 per cent of their budgets into indemnity schemes.

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