Deaths in Mental Health Care DebateFull Debate: Read Full Debate
Janet DabyMain Page: Janet Daby (Labour - Lewisham East)
Department Debates - View all Janet Daby's debates with the Department of Health and Social Care
It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Stringer. I congratulate the hon. Member for Hartlepool on the wonderful way in which he opened the debate and the two preceding speakers on their powerful contributions. I rise to speak on behalf of my constituent, Mrs Marian Coles, who was alerted to the debate and contacted me. I want my speech simply to be what she has written to me, to place her concerns on the record. Mrs Coles said:
“I am writing regarding the Westminster Hall debate concerning deaths in mental health care which calls for independent investigations into deaths in mental health settings. As a family that has been personally affected by this after our son took his own life whilst a mental health inpatient in Kettering in May 2017, we would ask if you would represent us at this debate. This was the second suicide at this facility 7 months apart. Staff failings were admitted at the inquest and 3 nurses were disciplined but they refused to give us the details. It has taken us 3 years for the NHS to settle this case.
We were involved with the serious incident report that took place but strongly support an independent inquiry being held after such deaths as is allowed in other organisations. Why should an organisation investigate itself over a death that may have been caused or contributed to by failures of its own staff or systems? The lack of an independent inquiry hampers the ability to root out issues of system neglect or misconduct and also jeopardises the welfare of future patients by failing to address such concerns. There is overwhelming evidence that the current system for investigating deaths in mental health settings is not fit for purpose.
“We very much hope that you will be able to take part in the debate and offer your support”—
“for an independent inquiry for families that may be affected by these tragedies. I am deeply traumatised by the death of my son, as is all of my family and we have to live with this every day of our lives”.
It is a privilege for me, as the local MP, to place Mrs Marian Coles’s concerns on the record.