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Essex mental health inquiry will hear evidence in September – BBC News

Image source, Stuart Woodward/BBC

Screenshot, The review of 2,000 mental health deaths in Essex was first announced in November 2020.

  • Author, nikki fox
  • Role, BBC Health Correspondent, Essex
  • 4 hours ago

An inquest into deaths from mental illness in Essex will begin hearing evidence on September 9.

The Lampard Inquiry will investigate the deaths of more than 2,000 patients in the care of NHS trusts in Essex between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2023.

The evidence will be heard in public in Essex and streamed live online over a three-week period.

The first hearings are expected to include opening statements as well as evidence from those affected by deaths due to mental illness.

Image source, John Fairhall/BBC

Screenshot, Activists calling for a legal inquiry, pictured in November 2022, have repeatedly demonstrated outside Essex Coroner’s Court.

Grieving families and campaigners launched a petition, signed by 100,000 people, calling for deaths from mental illness in the county to be debated in Parliament.

Six months later, the former NHS North Essex Partnership Trust was fined £1.5 million by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigating the deaths of 11 patients.

The inquiry will look at deaths of patients in the care of Essex Partnership University NHS Trust and two former trusts it replaced, as well as patients in the care of North East London NHS Foundation Trust in Essex.

The inquiry was given full legal powers in 2023 after former chair Dr Geraldine Strathdee said neither the NHS nor locum staff had been involved in the process.

  फैमिली हिस्ट्री बन सकती है लंग्स कैंसर का कारण, नॉन स्मोकर्स को भी खतरा

Eleven mental health staff out of 14,000 came forward to testify.

Legal powers meant staff could now be forced to give evidence, but the chair of the new legal inquiry, Baroness Kate Lampard, said she hoped she would not have to use her powers to make “referrals for consideration in contempt proceedings”.

The investigation team said it had received around 100 requests from witnesses who wanted to testify, but did not confirm how many of them were staff members.

A recent acquisition notice of £267,500 by the Department of Health and Social Care asked for vendors to come forward who could provide “emotional support” to the investigation through July 31, 2027, with the option to extend the contract for another year.

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