23 November 2011

Media statement following publication of homicide reports 22.11.11

Trust accepts reports' findings and apologises.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust today accepted the findings of the two reports into the care and treatment of Trust patients MH and Mr X. Both men were known to mental health services in Swindon and Mr X had also been under the care of the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. MH killed CJ in March 2007 and Mr X killed his mother and father in July 2007.

Laura McMurtrie, the Trust chief executive, said "We accept the reports and their findings and on behalf of the Trust I extend our sincere apologies and our sympathies to the families and friends of the victims. These were personal tragedies for the families and friends of both the deceased and the perpetrators and we are sorry that opportunities to prevent them were not taken."

The reports highlight a number of failings at the time including:

  • A poorly performing mental health crisis service in Swindon in 2007
  • Failure of agencies and teams to work together to share information
  • Inadequate staff training and supervision
  • Failure to follow Trust policies
  • Poor record keeping

The reports state that opportunities to take action were missed and that the incidents could have been avoided if appropriate care had been delivered.

Since the deaths - almost five years ago - the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has significantly improved services in Swindon.

  • Community mental health teams are now dealing with smaller caseloads
  • More permanent clinicians have been appointed
  • Communication between different teams has been improved
  • Trust wide electronic health and social care records system now live
  • Management of inpatient and community services has been separated

The reports' authors acknowledge that service transformation has had a "positive impact" and that the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust now has "an excellent range of clinical policies and procedures" that are evidence-based and well written.

70 out of the 80 service improvement recommendations made in the two reports have now been completed by the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and the remainder are in the process of being implemented.

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