An independent investigation into patient safety and failures to investigate deaths at the Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust between 2010 and 2014 has been commissioned by Health Minister Stephen Hammond.
The investigation has been commissioned amid concerns that as many as 150 deaths during the Trust’s tenure were not investigated properly. After the Trust ceased to operate, the majority of its services were taken on by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.
The investigation will look into “historic incidents of serious harm” and issues of patient safety in light of new evidence identified by Mersey Care in the wake of the Kirkup report, published last year.
The Liverpool Community Health Trust ceased to operate in 2018 after the Kirkup report revealed numerous serious failings under its management.
The report, chaired by Dr Bill Kirkup, concluded that the Trust “was a dysfunctional organisation from the outset” and that “significant unnecessary harm occurred to patients” as a result of the Trust’s management.
Throughout the inquiry, the panel “heard repeated accounts that reporting was discouraged, investigation was poor, incidents were regularly downgraded in importance, and action planning for improvement was absent or invisible”. It was therefore recommended that the Trust’s successor “should review the handling of previous serious incidents to ensure they have been properly investigated and lessons learned”.
Investigation in light of new evidence
Dr Kirkup will reprise his role as Chairman of the investigation and will “draw upon fresh evidence” to identify individual patient failings and “determine the scale of patient harm”.
Mr Hammond said “The new investigation we have commissioned will review fresh evidence to make sure no stone is left unturned. We are prepared to take any action that is necessary – locally or nationally – to prevent such occurrences in the future.”
Rosie Cooper, MP for West Lancashire added “It is important that those responsible are held to account. Patients and staff of LCH need certainty, stability and assurances that the harm caused by past failings will not be repeated.”
Amrit Dhaliwal, solicitor with Medical Accident Group said: “It is disappointing that the investigations undertaken by Mersey Care have revealed yet more failures made by the Liverpool Community Health Trust. I will be very interested to see the outcome of the independent inquiry and hope that patients and their families get the answers they deserve”.
If you or a family member have suffered as a result of inadequate management of their condition by medical practitioners, Medical Accident Group can help. Our team of committed clinical negligence solicitors will help guide you through the process of making a claim. Call the team on 0800 050 1668 or email us at [email protected]