Thirteen patients are likely to have died due to failings in their treatment, a report to Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Trust has shown.
The deaths have been revealed in papers which will be discussed at a meeting of the trust’s board this Friday, June 22.
Trust members will be told that during 2016-2018 the trust investigated 37 deaths of patients in its care, of which 13 were ’assessed as to be more likely than not to have been due to problems in the care provided to the patient’.
Eight deaths happened in 2017-18 and five during 2016-17.
The trust works with GPs, acute hospitals and local authorities providing mental health care across the two boroughs.
It operates the Dorothy Pattison and Bloxwich Hospitals in Walsall and the Bushey Fields Hospital in Dudley.
The report does not reveal the causes of death or the extent that failings in care contribute to the deaths but it highlights the need for suicide prevention training amongst staff.
In reporting lessons that had be learnt from the investigations, the trust highlighted four key areas including better communication between the trust and patients' GPs following discharges, and that clinical staff understand the impact of addiction and relationship breakdowns on patients' mental health.
Other lessons were to ensure that patients’ treatment plans are in line with trust standards and that pain management and physical health care is fully aligned with mental health care.
The report also reveals there were 53 ‘serious incidents’ during the 12 months between April 2017 and March 2018 but gives no further details of what constitutes a serious incident.
The trust has said it will be releasing a statement on the deaths in the near future.