Search

Four “unexpected” deaths at NHS trust operating in Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 11:59 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:59 07 February 2018

Four patients died on a ward within East London NHS Foundation Trust between December 2016 and July last year. Picture: PA/Lynne Cameron

Four patients died on a ward within East London NHS Foundation Trust between December 2016 and July last year. Picture: PA/Lynne Cameron

PA Wire/PA Images

Four “unexpected” deaths occurred in seven months on a mental health ward with more than the recommended number of beds.

A health watchdog report found a “near-miss incident” relating to “serious self-harm” at a second ward operated by East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), which provides services to patients in Tower Hamlets.

“The loss of life of any patient is a tragedy and my heart goes out to the family and friends of those individuals,” said the trust’s chief executive, Dr Navina Evans.

“We have been focussed on learning lessons following these incidents and are encouraged that our progress has been recognised by inspectors. We will continue to work to improve how care is provided and to embed improvements across our services.”

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an inspection following the deaths on an all-male ward between December 2016 and July last year.

The report, based on visits to three locations in the East of England, found some wards continued to have bed numbers exceeding the Royal College of Psychiatrist’s recommended maximum of 16.

The ward where the patients died, Ash ward in Oakley Court hospital, Luton, has reduced its beds from 27 to 19, inspectors said.

They gave no further details on the deaths, aside from the coroner was investigating them “at the time of the inspection”.

Despite patients being routinely searched when they returned to the ward after leave, the CQC said the “near-miss” on Luton and Central Bedfordshire Mental Health Unit’s all-female Crystal ward raised concerns about access to contraband items.

“During the inspection we heard about a blade being found on Crystal ward and plastic bags being found on [nearby] Jade ward,” the report said.

The watchdog said security breaches were not being consistently reported by staff, fewer than three quarters of whom had taken basic and immediate life support training.

Appropriate checks were not always made after “rapid tranquilisation” of patients, the CQC added.

Deputy chief inspector Dr Paul Lelliott said the trust “has learnt from serious incidents and made some improvements”, but wanted “to see care for patients improve further” at the next inspection.

Latest East London News Stories

07:36

Police have launched an appeal to help trace a Limehouse man wanted in connection with an assault.

07:00

A Whitechapel mosque opened its doors to the public on Sunday for Visit My Mosque Day.

Yesterday, 16:04

The council has been slammed after a wall with a plaque dedicated to one of the ‘greatest ever Brits’ was left covered with graffiti and rubbish dumped nearby..

Yesterday, 14:49

Chicken fans missing out on their favourite food after KFC closed stores across the country have been urged not to call the police to complain.

Yesterday, 13:50

Boaters have been told not to move their vessels as environment bosses work to clean up a major oil spill polluting the River Lea.

Yesterday, 13:00

KFC has announced more store closures after delivery problems meant that it ran out of chicken.

Yesterday, 11:50

A voluntary group of St John’s Ambulance cadet lifesavers in Canary Wharf is desperately looking for youth leaders to run the branch.

Mon, 18:00

Meet two sisters passionate about olive oil who don’t let you leave their family-run restaurant feeling hungry—then you must be in Wapping.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now