THE Government says lessons must be learned after “appalling and unacceptable” deaths of mental health patients in care in Essex.

An official inquiry was launched following two deaths at the at the North Essex Partnership NHS Trust.

They include the death of Matthew Leahy, from north Essex, who was found hanging in his room at Chelmsford’s Linden Centre in 2012, aged 20.

Mum Melanie has been campaigning for justice ever since, along with other families who lost loved ones.

A House of Commons committee launched an inquiry to highlight the findings of the Parliamentary and Health Service

An investigation and report has been held into the two deaths at the trust and to investigate what actions have been taken since.

It looked at the safety of acute mental health care provision, leadership and developing a culture of learning within the NHS.

Read more >> Inquiry launches consultation with families into Essex mental health deaths

The report says: “As we set out in the written evidence to the committee, the cases highlighted in the PHSO’s report are appalling and unacceptable.

“We acknowledge that there are lessons to be learnt from the report and these lessons need to be shared more widely, to improve patient care.

“We remain committed to creating an NHS that learns from incidents and puts that learning into practice.

“We will consider the wider lessons from both the Health and Safety Executive investigation and the recently announced Essex Mental Health Independent Inquiry.

“Mental health and learning disability and autism services care for some of the most vulnerable people with complex needs.

“These patients have a right to expect the highest quality and safe care which will have a positive impact on their lives and help support their recovery. This Government is clear that patient safety must remain a top priority for the NHS in England.”

The Government accepted a recommendation that there is a need for “significant improvements” in the safety and quality of mental health provision and that the minister and the NHS should make this an “urgent priority”.

The report says: “Following historic underinvestment, record levels are being invested to bring our mental health services up to the standards patients, families and carers expect.”

That will see a further £2.3 billion of ring-fenced investment in mental health services a year by 2023/24 to ensure the NHS provides high quality mental health services.