Concern at spike in serious incidents in mental health services

Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, President of the British Psychological Society, has expressed his concern at reports of a sudden increase in the number of mental health patients dying unexpectedly in NHS care.

According to the Guardian:

Figures obtained by Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat MP, show that the overall number of ‘serious incidents – involving unexpected or avoidable deaths, serious harm, injury and abuse – has climbed 34 per cent to 8139 a year. They have become so common that one trust, North East London foundation trust, had a total of 633 last year – almost two a day.

Professor Hacker Hughes said:

“Some of the prime problems we face are ensuring appropriate provision of and access to psychological services in the NHS, as well as making sure that the workforce is trained and maintained in sufficient numbers.

“Supported by Richard Pemberton and Julia Faulconbridge, I have been working on the NHS England National Mental Health Taskforce to address these concerns . Our report is due to be published shortly.”