Mental Health Trust Criticised over Number of Patient Suicides

The Birmingham Post (England), March 25, 2009 | Go to article overview

Mental Health Trust Criticised over Number of Patient Suicides


A Midland health trust has been ordered to take action after high numbers of mental health patients committed suicide.

An in-depth review into mental health services provided by Wolverhampton City Primary Care Trust (PCT) has ruled that immediate changes need to be made to keep patients safe.

Improved staff training, management development and improvements to inpatient wards have been called for in the peer review overseen by NHS West Midlands health authority.

Public health director Rashmi Shukla said concerns about safety were raised in 2007 due to high suicide levels by patients under the home care of the trust or receiving mental health treatment at Penn Hospital.

"The suicide data was correct, but no single cause was identified as the cause through the in-depth analysis," said Dr Shukla.

"It was clear that systems needed to be improved and the care pathway needed to be made more robust, including care planning, assessment, and staff training and support. The specialised community mental health teams were considered not to be delivering the amount or quality of work which could be expected.

"There are specific recommendations for leadership, management, workforce development and performance management, in particular the need to enhance and systematise patient safety and risk management. …

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