Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust problems mirror issues faced a decade ago, says bereaved relative

PROBLEMS being faced by an NHS trust are the same as they were more than a decade ago, says a bereaved sister.

Monday, 21st March 2022, 5:57 pm

Jo Deering from New Milton died in 2011 under the care of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Last month, the trust was rated as requiring improvement, following an inspection from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

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Dr Maureen Rickman, from New Milton, is one of the bereaved family members campaigning for an investigation into deaths under the care of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. Picture: David George

Jo's sister, Dr Maureen Rickman, says the issues raised by the CQC this year are the same as the ones that she experienced while her sister was in the trust's care.

She said: 'I have read the report and I am struck by the fact that so many of the issues raised by the CQC relate to failings that also impacted on the deaths of our loved ones - indicating in my case that my complaints to the trust about omitted detail in medical records relating to incidents and Jo’s suicide risks, and the failure of trust staff to also record accurate and reliable information about Jo has been ignored.

'In addition, even when Jo’s deteriorating health was being recorded, it did not result in her receiving the care and support she so desperately required.

'So 11 years after Jo’s death, the same problems are persistent and are still impacting on care and services.'

Dr Rickman added that the CQC noting incomplete risk assessments and care plans, not following drug policies and not having systems for safe and effective admissions and discharges echo some of the concerns she raised in the early 2010s.

At a Hampshire County Council's health and social care select committee last month, Ron Shields, chief executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, admitted the trust had room for improvement.

He said: 'Southern Health faces very real pressures, and has to make hundreds of judgements every day.

'We have a whole range of ongoing processes for quality assurance, evidence by the positive parts of the CQC report.

'On the whole we can clearly demonstrate an improvement but the themes are not new problems - rather, they are a continuation of existing pressures.

'We have to look at whethere there is more we need to do in those areas.'

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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