Investigation into death of mental health patient underway

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A mental health patient died in a suspected suicide while under the care of professionals in Blackpool.

Lancashire Care, responsible for mental health care across the county, said an investigation into the ‘serious incident’ was launched.

The death was reported in July, with scant details given in trust paperwork in order to ‘protect confidentiality’ more recently.

Blackpool Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team, which was caring for the patient, helps people ‘experiencing mental health problems that are in crisis or would perhaps require hospital admission’.

“We aim to provide a safe and effective alternative to in-patient care by helping people through times of mental health crisis in their own home environment,” the round-the-clock service said on its website.

One mental health expert said the person being cared for would have been at ‘high risk’ of self-harming. She added: “They will have been seen following assessment and the frequency of visit, duration of the involvement will be individual to each person. It could be several times a day, or once a day. Patients are advised to ring or go to A & E if they deteriorate.

“Unfortunately this happens and you can’t always stop people hurting themselves.”

The trust said it would be ‘inappropriate to pre-empt the probe’s findings, but said: “It is likely the coroner will open an inquest and the trust will co-operate and fully support this process.”

It also offered its ‘thoughts and sympathies’ to the patient’s loved ones.