At least 271 highly vulnerable mental health patients have died over the last six years after failings in NHS care, a Guardian investigation has found.

They can be added to the 120,000 deaths due to failings in health and social care, and also to the countless (literally – the DWP point-blank refuses to count them) deaths due to deprivation of state benefits.

The newspaper’s report states:

Coroners have been so alarmed at the lapses in care that emerged during inquests that they issued legal warnings to 136 NHS bodies, mainly providers of care, between 2012 and 2017. They included mental health trusts, acute hospitals, ambulance services and GP surgeries.

Mental health campaigners said the findings were shocking and claimed that many of the deaths were avoidable and constituted a “tragedy”.

A Guardian investigation has established that coroners in England and Wales have served “a prevention of future deaths notice” (PFDNs) on one or more NHS bodies in 271 cases. The coroners identified problems including errors, misjudgments, flawed processes, a lack of staff or beds and poor training.

Coroners are obliged under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 to issue a notice if they believe shortcomings by a person, organisation or public body such as a hospital trust, council or government department, are so serious that other people may die unless urgent action is taken to tackle them.

The Guardian’s analysis of all the notices issued between 2012 and 2017 involving people receiving NHS care for mental health conditions uncovered a total of 706 failings across the 271 deaths. In many cases patients took their own lives.

That’s an interesting revelation!

If coroners issued PFDNs after NHS patients took their own lives, why haven’t they done so after former benefit claimants did the same?

Or have they, and we simply weren’t told because the Tories want to keep their genocide rolling along?

An Evolve Politics article points out:

By far the greatest cause of death among the 271 individuals was suicide, which is rising after years of decline. Now, 4,477 people kill themselves per year. In 75% of cases, vulnerable individuals aren’t getting the care they need.

And it points out:

The mental health crisis in this country is nothing revelatory. Increasing numbers of mental health practitioners have been turning away from public work since at least 2012. This is due in no small part to the failing state of the NHS structure, brought on by the Tory’s mismanagement and abject negligence.

The issue is not just one of shoddy Government policy, negligence and mismanagement. More insidious and incremental is this Government’s railroad of privatisation through mental health.

Chief among the causes of the 271 avoidable mental health patient deaths was the fact of poor communication between agencies and staff. In 2010, Allyson Pollock wrote in the British Medical Journal of the dangers of “A whole swathe of NHS mental health services [being] closed or transferred to the for profit private sector from the NHS”.

The use of private agencies, contractors and nursing recruiters has led to a disjointed, chaotic system that is utterly inefficient. This is in addition to a reliance on mental health charities to provide care that should be the function of the State.

At the same time, care provision within the NHS is found wanting. Vulnerable recipients of care are kicked from pillar to post, their treatment is delayed and often insufficient.

And this has resulted in deaths of people in care, as we have seen.

The first duty of any national government is the safety of its citizens. In health, in social care, and in social security the Conservatives have not only failed – they have deliberately caused many thousands of deaths by the implementation of homicidal or genocidal policies.

Why are we letting them do it?

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