Featured

CHARM Latest News

Communities for Holistic Accessible Rights based Mental Health

We are a campaign calling for changes in the way psychiatric services are provided in Greater Manchester.
We’ve teamed up with people with lived experience, workers, trade unions, family groups and citizens 
We are calling for a root and branch review and an action plan to transform mental health services in our communities.
Can you help? Contact us here

The Do it For Dan Pennine Way Walk ’22

Jeff Evans is raising £2,000 to Raise awareness of and funds for better public mental health care.

Jeff Evans has very kindly offered CHARM half of the money he raises this year during the The Do it For Dan Pennine Way Walk ’22

The aim of this fundraiser is to:

1) promote informed discussion and awareness of the importance of maintaining good mental health.

2) Raise funds for the mental health charity CALM & the grassroots mental health campaign group CHARM

We can all help Jeff reach his target by clicking on the Crowdfunder link above and making a donation.


Reports
Crisis in Manchester Services update

Co-design Collaboratives for “Living Well” update
On the 22nd April we were notified that “the senior leaders who sit ‘above’ the Collaboratives, which includes CCG and MCC commissioners, GMMH leads, and various VCSE CEOs, notably of MIND, MACC and 42nd St. held a meeting and decided that further work at their level is necessary (essentially to develop their vision and governance arrangements, and for them to further understand what the data and ethnographic research is telling them) so that they can support, assist and shape the work on which we are about to embark and have directed the Operational Managers to pause the Collaborative meetings in Central, North and South Manchester.”

Equalities – Why no women’s only rehabilitation services provided by GMMH

Wider issues re. national picture on outsourcing to private sector and poor quality of services

GM Integrated Care Commissioning System -what do we know?


Featured

Coroners warned of mental health care failings in dozens of inquests

Observer investigation identifies 56 cases in which patients lost their lives after being unable to access the help that they needed.

Shortfalls in mental health services and staffing have been flagged as concerns in dozens of inquests since 2015, the Observer can reveal, with coroners issuing repeated warnings over patients facing long waiting lists or falling through gaps in service provision.

The Observer has identified 56 mental health-related deaths in England and Wales from the start of 2015 to the end of 2020 where coroners identified a lack of staffing or service provision as a “matter of concern”, meaning they believed “there is a risk that future deaths could occur unless action is taken”.

Coroners issue Reports to Prevent Future Deaths (PFD) when they believe action should be taken to prevent deaths occurring in future, and send them to relevant individuals or organisations, who are expected to respond. In one case, a woman referred to psychotherapy services had still not received any psychotherapy by the time she died 11 months later. In another, someone had endured a seven-month wait for a psychological assessment.Advertisementhttps://fccdde4c2292aba023508c38b58b4ba6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Alison Cobb, senior policy and campaigns officer at the mental health charity Mind, said: “It’s shocking that so many should lose their lives because there isn’t enough capacity in mental health services to provide adequate care. These prevention of future deaths notices are meant to inform better ways of working, and it’s especially concerning that similar stories are repeating over and over again.”

Many of the cases are suicides. The causes of suicide are complex, and there is rarely a single event or factor behind them. PFD reports do not set out to identify why someone decided to take their own life, and rarely go so far as saying that a particular factor made death more likely by denying the victim the necessary support.

However, in the PFD report for a man who died in December 2019, the coroner wrote that moves to admit the victim as an informal patient at the hospital’s psychiatric unit floundered as “there were no beds available in Suffolk, or anywhere else in the country at the time”.

The coroner wrote: “Had a bed been available and had [he] been admitted as he and medical staff had wished on the evening of the 16 December 2019, his death would not have occurred.”

In another case, the PFD report for a 15-year-old boy who died in October 2018 warned of a lack of NHS services for autism and a “severe shortage of inpatient psychiatric beds for children and adolescents in the NHS”.

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour’s shadow minister for mental health, said: “The Conservatives have cut a quarter of mental health beds since 2010. This has put the NHS at breaking point, with devastating consequences for people’s lives.

A DHSC spokesperson said: “Every death by suicide is a tragedy and we are committed to ensuring everyone has access to the services when they need them.

“We are expanding and transforming mental health services in England, backed by £2.3bn a year by 2023-24, including £57m of investment in suicide prevention by 2023-24 to support local suicide-prevention plans and the establishment of suicide bereavement services in every area of the country.”

See full article here

Source: The Observer, September 2021

Featured

“Unless similar units cease to receive public money, such lethal outcomes will persist” says independent report into deaths of adults with learning disabilities at hospital

An independent report into the deaths of King, Nicholas Briant, 33, and 36-year-old Joanna Bailey, who all died at Cawston Park, said their relatives described “indifferent and harmful hospital practices”.

The report, published on Thursday, makes reference to “excessive use of restraint and seclusion by unqualified staff” and a “high tolerance of inactivity”.

“Unless this hospital and similar units cease to receive public money, such lethal outcomes will persist,” the report said.

How many people from Greater Manchester are living in Units like this?

The report into the deaths at Cawston Park has made 13 recommendations to a series of agencies including the Law Commission, suggesting a review of the law around private companies caring for adults with learning disabilities and autism.

“Given the clear public interest in ensuring the wellbeing and safety of patients, and the public sponsorship involved, the Law Commission may wish to consider whether corporate responsibility should be based on corporate conduct, in addition to that of individuals, for example,” the report said.

Flynn, who was commissioned by Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board (NSAB) to write the report, said the report highlighted “failures of governance, commissioning, oversight, planning for individuals and professional practice”.

See full article here

Source: The Guardian, 9th September 2021

What is behind a new mental health abuse scandal?

The lack of trained staff and society’s view of people with mental distress are a toxic mix

An abuse scandal on an appalling scale is said to have erupted at a mental health facility in Manchester.

The BBC’s Panorama programme says it has evidence of severe malpractice after deploying a reporter as an undercover member of staff at the Edenfield medium-security institution.  It plans to broadcast a programme about Edenfield this week.

Well-placed sources told the Manchester Evening News last week that allegations include “serious abuse” of adult patients. Police are now investigating and Greater Manchester Mental Health trust has suspended up to 30 staff.

A similar expose in 2011 detailed the shocking way people with learning difficulties and challenging behaviour suffered physical and psychological abuse at the hands of staff at the Winterbourne View private hospital, in South Gloucestershire. It led to a national scandal and inquiry that was supposed to ensure that nothing similar could happen again.

Edenfield treats around 200 patients, most of which have been sectioned by a court and are classed as a potential danger to themselves and others. The BBC’s footage from there is said to be as harrowing and shocking as that taken at Winterbourne. 

It will almost certainly lead to outrage that health professionals could treat some of the most vulnerable people in society in such a terrible way. But mental health workers elsewhere in Britain have told Socialist Worker that what happened at Winterbourne, and now seemingly Edenfield is not simply the result of cruel and sadistic people in the workforce.

“People going to work in secure settings need to be extremely qualified and experienced,” one mental health practitioner told Socialist Worker on condition of anonymity. 

“Patient behaviour can at times be very challenging, and even violent. But too often I hear that secure wards and units are staffed by people with little experience, and sometimes not a single registered nurse on shift.

“That is a recipe for disaster. If you don’t have enough experienced and skilled staff on, there is nobody to ensure a proper culture of care or to help with patients that are particularly distressed. Even very good staff without qualifications and practice simply don’t have the weight to do this.”

The practitioner also says understaffed and underskilled wards—which are increasingly common—lead to health workers becoming overwhelmed and responding badly to challenges.

“People without the right skills and backup can easily become frustrated at their inability to deal with patients that challenge them. They can even stop noticing the way they react. This phenomenon is so well-known in healthcare that it has a name. It is called ‘institutionalisation’ and ‘burnout’.

“Mostly, when people start working in mental health, they do so because they care, and want to help people. But when they are dropped into situations they can’t deal with, and without any resources or experience to fall back on, that enthusiasm can fade and be replaced by its opposite.”

People who start angry about the conditions they work in, soon adapt to them and often rely on bad coping mechanisms to get them through their shift, says the practitioner.

“You can’t be furious about your work every day,” they continue. “So, when faced with multiple demands that are impossible to meet, people working in these settings often dehumanise their patients—either consciously, or unconsciously.

“They find a way of switching off from them emotionally, of detaching. Not looking your patients in the eye is a way of avoiding their distress, and their distress becoming your distress.

“Many find this is the only way they can survive the job. But the problem is that the same process of dehumanisation can lie behind terrible care and even patient abuse. That’s why we have to put the issue of safe staffing at the centre of patient care.”

And these factors interact with a general societal prejudice against people with mental distress. It is easier therefore to think they should be treated in a worse way than other patients.

Worsening conditions at work, poor pay and lack of fully qualified staff have already driven some of the most experienced health workers out of the job. 

The NHS in England is currently short of 6,000 mental health nurses, and years of below-inflation pay deals mean that number will only grow. 

The regulator, the Care Quality Commissioner, downgraded some of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust services to inadequate in April this year.

At the time, Lyndsey Marchant, Unison union’s regional organiser, told the Manchester World news website, “We have been raising concerns about the serious lack of staff in many of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust in-patient and community teams for some time.

“We have said this puts our members at risk of both physical harm and prolonged mental distress. It also means staff cannot provide a safe and timely service for our service users, so services are unsafe for them too.  We feel as though the trust’s unwillingness to address our concerns has contributed to this announcement from the CQC.”

The new care scandal at Edenfield is unlikely to be the last. To get the standard of care and compassion that we expect vulnerable people to be treated with, there has to be a change in the culture and practices in many mental health institutions.

But that can only happen when we have fully staffed and resourced wards that enable health workers to care in the same way they wanted to when they started in the job.

Full story here

Source: Socialist Worker, 25th September 2022

Mental health hospital in Bury where patients were ‘bullied and abused by staff’ put into special measures

A report found staff ‘could be patronising, antagonistic, rude and made negative comments about patients’

A hospital where patients say they were ‘bullied and abused by staff’ has been placed into special measures. Cygnet Bury Hudson has been ordered to improve safety after its overall performance was judged to be ‘inadequate’, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in June.

The hospital, off Bolton Road in Bury, provides low and medium secure inpatient mental health services for men and women across six wards and 78 beds. The service was last inspected in July 2020 when it was registered as Cygnet Bury.

Since April 2021, the location has been split into three and this is the first inspection at this location. During the recent visit, inspectors say patients told them they were being ‘bullied and abused by their peers and staff members’ and that they did not feel safe on wards.

A damning report published today reveals there were also issues with safeguarding, complaint handling, medicines management and staff attitudes to patients and carers.

“Staff were not always discreet, respectful or kind when caring for patients,” the report adds. “Patients and one carer told us staff could be patronising, antagonistic, rude and made negative comments about patients.”

Inspectors also found a security breach had led to a patient’s offence being disclosed to others. They then had to be moved to another ward after receiving verbal abuse and being attacked.

Meanwhile, ward environments were not always comfortable for patients, said officials. The report continues: “A problem with the central heating system was causing the heating to come on even though it was warm which was making the temperature in the hospital uncomfortable for patients and staff.

“On one ward, patients’ sleep was being disturbed by slamming doors and lights from a sensor shining into their bedroom.”

Staff turnover within the service was also found to be high, although managers were reported to be taking steps to address the issue.

Brian Cranna, the CQC’s head of hospital inspection for mental health and community services, said: “During our inspection of Cygnet Bury Hudson, leaders had a good understanding of the service, however we found a number of very concerning issues.

“People told us they were being bullied and abused by other patients and staff members, and that they didn’t feel safe on the wards. They told us staff weren’t always discreet, respectful or kind, and sometimes made negative comments about them. This is totally unacceptable and no-one using health and social care services should experience this kind of treatment.

“Inspectors found safeguarding issues weren’t always recognised and managed effectively by staff, and patients’ needs weren’t always being put first. A security breach had led to a patient’s offence being disclosed to others and they had to be moved to another ward after receiving abuse. This must be addressed as a priority to keep people safe and protected from harm.

“Staff were also unable to find information we requested which meant they didn’t always have timely access to important information needed to deliver appropriate care.

“However, staff minimised the use of restrictive practices and used de-escalation techniques to minimise the use of restraint on the wards. Also, blanket restrictions were in accordance with identified risks and were reviewed regularly.

“We have told the provider to make improvements to ensure that people are safe, and we will monitor the service closely to ensure these are made and fully embedded. If they are not, we won’t hesitate to take the appropriate action needed to drive the necessary improvements.”

A spokesperson for Cygnet Health Care said: “Although we are disappointed with the outcome of the inspection at Cygnet Bury Hudson, we have already started making improvements to address the challenges raised by the CQC. We take their feedback seriously and were reassured that the CQC identified many positive aspects in the care we provide, including a range of treatments suitable to the needs of the patients and in line with national guidance about best practice.

“Patient safety is always our priority and any safeguarding concerns that were identified during the inspection last June have already been addressed. We have strengthened our systems to ensure any future incidents are recognised and managed effectively.

“We will continue to work closely with patients and their loved ones to hear their feedback, make sure they feel listened to, and act upon it when appropriate. Despite the recruitment challenges faced across the sector, we are recruiting more specialist staff so that patients have access to the experts they need.

“Our Quality Assurance Managers, the recruitment of additional Quality Assurance Staff, and the commencement of a patient-led Quality Improvement Project, will further contribute towards improved patient experience.

Full story here

Source: Manchester Evening News, 12th September 2022

Staff at women’s mental health facility ‘fell asleep’ when they were meant to be observing high-risk patients

Eleanor Independent Hospital in West Didsbury has been placed into special measures

A women’s mental health facility in south Manchester has been put into special measures after members of staff were found to have fallen asleep when they were supposed to be monitoring high-risk patients.

Eleanor Independent Hospital in West Didsbury was rated ‘inadequate’ following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in May – which also found some staff didn’t know the names of patients they were caring for.

The hospital, run by Eleanor EHC Limited, provides care for up to 34 women who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder or mental illness. The service was previously rated as ‘requires improvement’ following an inspection in 2021.

Inspectors highlighted significant concerns about the medicines management at the hospital and found errors around the prescribing, recording, and dispensing of medicines which placed people at a serious risk of harm.

“Patients and their carers reported that staff weren’t very caring and didn’t seem to be fully aware of how to support the people in their care. Staff were often on their phones instead of supporting and engaging with people,” they said.

The inspection also found the service didn’t have enough nursing and support staff to keep patient’s safe, the hospital’s risk assessment process was flawed and that patients did not feel at the forefront of their care.

Inspectors also said risk assessments and care plans were often incorrect or out of date, and staff often didn’t understand patient’s individual needs and what items they needed to remove to prevent them harming themselves.

They found some bedrooms contained belongings piled high almost to the ceiling and window ledges also completely covered – indicating they were not adequately cleaned.

Eleanor Independent Hospital (Image: MEN Media)

Brian Cranna, CQC head of hospital inspection for mental health and community services, said: “When our inspectors returned to Eleanor Independent Hospital, they were concerned to see a decline in the quality of care being provided to women at the service.

“The service wasn’t well-led and didn’t have a registered manager at the time of our inspection. This contributed to the hospital lacking oversight of this specific service which had caused serious issues to develop regarding people’s safety.

“Staff often fell asleep when people were supposed to have an increased level of observation putting them at an increased risk of harm. Some staff didn’t know the names of the patients they were caring for and weren’t briefed on why they were observing them.

“We also had significant concerns about the medicines management at the hospital and found many errors around the prescribing, recording, and dispensing of medicines which placed people at a serious risk of harm.

“Inspectors will continue to monitor service closely to ensure people are safe. If we are not assured people are receiving safe care, we will not hesitate to take further action.”

A spokesperson for Eleanor EHC Limited said: “Since the inspection that took place early this year, we have been working closely with the CQC and our Commissioning team to make significant improvements at the service. We have greatly appreciated the commitment and ongoing support from our external stakeholders.

“We have since appointed an experienced Hospital Manager and Psychiatric Consultant who bring a wealth of experience and leadership to the service. We have invested in training and environmental improvements along with successful gains in recruitment.

See full article here

Source: Manchester Evening News, 10th September 2022

Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust suspends staff after alleged mistreatment of patients in mental health unit

Footage obtained by Panorama of the alleged mistreatment is harrowing. The programme is scheduled to be broadcast on Wednesday next week.

An NHS trust has suspended staff after allegations that patients were mistreated at a mental health unit. Last week it was revealed police are preparing to investigate the claims which relate to the Edenfield Centre based in the grounds of the former Prestwich Hospital in Bury.

The unit cares for adult patients. The Manchester Evening News understands that action was taken after the BBC Panorama programme embedded a reporter undercover in the unit and then presented the NHS Trust which runs it with their evidence.

The Edenfield Centre has 11 wards and it is understood staff working on both male and female wards have been suspended. Meanwhile GMP are continuing to assess evidence in relation to the allegations.

In a statement to the Manchester Evening News the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Edenfield Centre, said today: “We can confirm that, in line with standard process, we have suspended a number of staff pending further investigations. We cannot provide you with any more than this at this stage.”

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “We can confirm that BBC Panorama has contacted the Trust, following research it conducted into the Edenfield Centre. We would like to reassure patients, carers, staff, and the public that we are taking the matters raised by the BBC very seriously.

“Immediate action has been taken to address the issues raised and to ensure patient safety, which is our utmost priority. We are liaising with partner agencies and stakeholders, including Greater Manchester Police. We are not able to comment any further on these matters at this stage.”

A sign at the former Prestwich Hospital site which now contains several units run by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. (Image: MEN Media)
The Edenfield Centre is a secure unit helping mental health patients adjust back into the community. It works mainly with people who have been in prison or admitted to hospital following a criminal offences.

The MEN understands that footage obtained by Panorama of the alleged mistreatment is harrowing. The programme is scheduled to be broadcast on Wednesday next week.

Paul Reed, chair of the Manchester Users Network, which supports users and ex-users of psychiatric services in the area, said: “It can’t be continuing to function normally. I understand they are bringing in emergency staff from all over the place.

“The problem too is the Trust is unable to attract staff and existing staff are going off sick as they are not able to give the time they should to individual patients. due to the stress and pressure they are under.”

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust which runs the unit is already under scrutiny after three young people died within nine months at other units at the Prestwich facility. As reported in theManchester Evening News, Rowan Thompson, 18, died while a patient at the unit in October 2020, followed by Charlie Millers, 17, in December that year, and Ania Sohail, 21, in June last year.

Earlier this year, the Trust commissioned an ‘external report’ into the three deaths. On Tuesday last week, a pre-inquest hearing into the death of Rowan – who used the pronoun ‘they’ – heard that the full report would be available for the coroner to read ‘on or around September 30’

Manchester City braced for ‘Winterbourne View’-level scandal

  • Police are braced to investigate a ‘Winterbourne View’-type scandal in Greater Manchester
  • Staff suspended as TV documentary expected to include allegations of patients being abused

Police are braced to investigate a ‘Winterbourne View’-level scandal in Greater Manchester, with a TV documentary expected to include allegations of serious patient abuse.

Yesterday, the Manchester Evening News reported that BBC Panorama have contacted Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust after an undercover reporter collected evidence of mistreatment at the trust’s medium-secure Edenfield Centre in Prestwich.

Well-placed sources have now told HSJ the allegations include “serious abuse” of adult patients, which they said were at a “similar sort of level as Winterbourne View”. The sources said the trust has already suspended a number of staff, although the trust refused to confirm this had happened.

The documentary has yet to be aired, but police are also aware of the allegations and are preparing to open an investigation.

Winterbourne View was an NHS and local authority-commissioned hospital located in south Gloucestershire. A Panorama team exposed a catalogue of physical and psychological abuse of patients in 2011. The scandal sparked a surge of whistleblowing concerns about units around the country, and prompted a major national programme to move patients with learning disabilities and/or autism into community-based care.

Full story here

Source: Health Service Journal, 22 September 2022

Anger after GMMH Trust says it has no plans to publish ‘independent’ review into to deaths of three young people

“We want to know what it says and the wider public has a right to know.”

Families have blasted a NHS Trust after it said it did not intend to publish an independent review into their loved ones deaths. Three young people died in nine months at the same mental health unit.

A Coroner was told last week that the review will be “ready” this month. Rowan Thompson, 18, died while a patient at the unit, based in the former Prestwich Hospital, Bury, in October 2020, followed by Charlie Millers, 17, in December that year, and Ania Sohail, 21, in June last year.

Earlier this year, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH), which runs the hospital, commissioned an ‘external report’ into the deaths. On Tuesday last week a pre-inquest hearing into the death of Rowan – who used the pronoun ‘they’ – heard that the full report would be available for the coroner to read ‘on or around September 30’
Trust ordered to produce report after deaths of three patients at Prestwich Hospital

Asked by the Manchester Evening News if the review would be published a spokesperson for the Trust said the Trust “always act on the wishes of the family regarding publication of reports,” adding “and so in line with this we have no immediate plans to make the report public.”

But the parents of both Rowan Thompson and Charlie Mllers said they wanted the report publishing. Charlie’s mother, Sam, said: “We want it published. It needs to be put out there, otherwise there is no point in having it. We are hoping they (The Trust) will learn lessons. We want answers but it should also be published for the benefit of the wider public – and the parents of other young people who are being treated in that unit.”

Rowan Thompson (Image: MEN Media)
Charlie died five days after he was found unresponsive in his room at the Prestwich unit on December 2, 2020. His inquest should have been held started on February 28th 2022 but was delayed due to the Trust commissioning the review. It is now scheduled to take begin on January 30th 2023. Sam said: “It is disgusting how we have had our inquest delayed almost a year for a report that they have not even submitted on time. It was supposed to be ready in August.”

Last week sitting at Rochdale Coroners’ Court, senior coroner Joanne Kearsley ordered that a copy of the review – authored by consultant psychiatrist Dr Lisa Rippon – be sent to her by September 24. A full inquest into Rowan’s death is due to begin at the end of next month.

The hearing was also told that a blood test sample processed on October 2, 2020, showed Rowan was suffering from ‘severe hyperkalemia’ – a condition in which a person has too low a concentration of potassium in their blood. They died the following day.

Ms Kearsley said the inquest would look into Rowan’s treatment plan and what advice doctors gave to GMMH regarding emergency treatment. It will also look into the impact of the drug flucloxacillin, which Rowan was given just hours before their death.

At a previous hearing, a lawyer representing Rowan’s family revealed they had a number of concerns regarding Rowan’s treatment while a patient on the Gardener Unit at Prestwich Hospital. They claimed there were ‘systemic issues regarding observation of patients on the unit’, and that the campaign group Inquest had expressed concerns following a number of deaths, including Rowan’s.

The inquest into Rowan’s death will be heard by a jury and is due to begin on October 24. A second pre-inquest review into the death of Ania Sohail is due to take place on December 16th.

Rowan’s father, Marc, said: “The review is a desk top exercise. It is a review of the Trust’s processes and policies. The families have not been involved – so how can they say they are adhering to a family’s wish when we have not been involved. We want to know what it says and the wider public has a righ to know.”

Marc Thompson (L) and Sam Millers (R) outside the Prestwich Unit where their children both died. (Image: MEN Media)
Previoulsy Marc, told the M.E.N the review was ‘totally inadequate’. He said last year:”This is management politics and image control,” he said. “It is stalling a full investigation into the management and culture of the Trust.

“It is not even going to be an external investigation. It is a review – looking into the learning from these deaths – not the causes, not the underlying problems. In my view it is totally inadequate. It will not have the same scope that an investigation by NHS England would have, or the power.”

The review was commissioned by the Trust in March this year. NHS England and NHS Improvement as commissioners for the care of Charlie and Rowan and Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group. commissioners for the care of Ania, supported the request for the review.


The terms of reference for the review, drawn up by NHS England were to conduct “a desk top review” of the Trust’s Root Cause Analysis Serious Investigation reports for all three deaths “to ensure that they followed correct procedures, were thorough and complete, and recommendations made comprehensive “to both mirigate against further reoccurence and identify any further learning.

It was to focus on risk assessment; observations and monitoring of those observations; communication between professionals; and staffing levels. It was also to consider “and if appropriate” identify any new or emerging common themes or causal factors emerging from reviewing the three cases.

Gill Green, Chief Nurse at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH), said: “We express our deepest sympathies to the families of, and all who cared for, Rowan, Charlie and Ania. We are fully cooperating with the inquest process. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further until the inquests have concluded.”

Full story here

Source: Manchester Evening News, 13th September 2022

Police prepare for investigation into The Edenfield Regional Secure Unit following alleged mistreatment of patients by BBC Panorama programme

‘Immediate action has been taken to address the issues raised and to ensure patient safety, which is our utmost priority’ GMMH Spokesperson.

The Edenfield Centre is a secure unit helping mental health patients adjust back into the community. It works mainly with people who have been in prison or admitted to hospital following a criminal offence.

The Edenfield Centre based in the grounds of the former Prestwich Hospital in Bury is at the centre of the claims.

The unit cares for adult patients. The Manchester Evening News understands that action was taken after the BBC Panorama programme embedded a reporter undercover in the unit and then presented the NHS Trust which runs it with their evidence.

A spokesperson for GMP said: “We are aware of the allegations and are liaising with partner agencies to safeguard vulnerable individuals and obtain all information required to open an investigation.”

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “We can confirm that BBC Panorama has contacted the Trust, following research it conducted into the Edenfield Centre. We would like to reassure patients, carers, staff, and the public that we are taking the matters raised by the BBC very seriously.

“Immediate action has been taken to address the issues raised and to ensure patient safety, which is our utmost priority. We are liaising with partner agencies and stakeholders, including Greater Manchester Police. We are not able to comment any further on these matters at this stage.”

The main entrance to the Prestwich site of the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. The Edenfield Centre is within the grounds. (Image: Manchester Evening News)

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust which runs the unit is already under scrutiny after three young people died within nine months at other units at the Prestwich facility. As reported in theManchester Evening News, Rowan Thompson, 18, died while a patient at the unit in October 2020, followed by Charlie Millers, 17, in December that year, and Ania Sohail, 21, in June last year.

Earlier this year, the Trust commissioned an ‘external report’ into the three deaths. On Tuesday last week, a pre-inquest hearing into the death of Rowan – who used the pronoun ‘they’ – heard that the full report would be available for the coroner to read ‘on or around September 30’

The Trust this week indicated it did not intend to publish the report. Asked by the Manchester Evening News if the review would be published, a spokesperson for the Trust said the body ‘always act on the wishes of the family regarding publication of reports’, adding “and so in line with this we have no immediate plans to make the report public.”
The parents of both Rowan Thompson and Charlie Millers said they wanted the report publishing. Charlie died five days after he was found unresponsive in his room at the Prestwich unit on December 2, 2020. His inquest should have been started on February 28, but was delayed due to the Trust commissioning the review. It is now scheduled to take begin on January 30 next year. His mother, Samantha, said: “It is disgusting how we have had our inquest delayed almost a year for a report that they have not even submitted on time. It was supposed to be ready in August.”

Last week, sitting at Rochdale Coroners’ Court, senior coroner Joanne Kearsley ordered that a copy of the review – authored by consultant psychiatrist Dr Lisa Rippon – be sent to her by September 24. A full inquest into Rowan’s death is due to begin at the end of next month.

Samantha Millers from Old Trafford, with a picture of her son, Charlie, who died at Prestwich mental health unit in December 2020. (Image: MEN Media)
The hearing was also told that a blood test sample processed on October 2, 2020, showed Rowan was suffering from ‘severe hyperkalemia’ – a condition in which a person has too low a concentration of potassium in their blood. They died the following day.

Ms Kearsley said the inquest would look into Rowan’s treatment plan and what advice doctors gave to GMMH regarding emergency treatment. It will also look into the impact of the drug flucloxacillin, which Rowan was given just hours before their death.

At a previous hearing, a lawyer representing Rowan’s family revealed they had a number of concerns regarding Rowan’s treatment while a patient on the Gardener Unit at Prestwich Hospital. They claimed there were ‘systemic issues regarding observation of patients on the unit’, and that the campaign group Inquest had expressed concerns following a number of deaths, including Rowan’s.

The inquest into Rowan’s death will be heard by a jury and is due to begin on October 24. A second pre-inquest review into the death of Ania Sohail is due to take place on December 16th.

The BBC has not responded to requests for comment.

Full story here

Source: Manchester Evening News, 13th September 2022