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“Missed opportunities” caused patient death

Posted in: Medical Negligence Wrongful & Accidental Death 

A coroner in Essex has ruled that there were “missed opportunities” that could have saved the life of Matthew Leahy. The 20-year-old was found hanging in his room at a mental health centre in Chelmsford. He was found dead on 15 November 2012 after being affected by several health trust failings.

It was heard in Chelmsford Coroner’s Court that Mr Leahy had not been assigned a key worker during his time at the Linden Centre, and that his paperwork was incomplete. It was also heard that no care plan had been created for him, and, following his death, staff forged one and back-dated it.

A statement read out to the court by the lead juror said: “Matthew Leahy had been subjected to a series of multiple failings and missed opportunities over a long period of time.” Coroner Caroline Beasley Murray said that the health trust should now open an inquiry.

No resemblance to care provided by the trust

Mr Leahy suffered from drug-induced psychosis and required constant care. He had convinced himself that his body “had been infected with parasites” and frequently threatened to kill himself.

Following his death, one member of staff was sacked and now faces a disciplinary hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, alongside two other workers from the centre. North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust stressed that the lack of care provided by these members of staff bears no resemblance to the quality of care provided by the trust.

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