Potentially ‘life threatening’ gaps in care, independent review warns

Disruptions linked to a new care model for Bristol community mental health services “may well have been life threatening”, a review into patient suicides and self-harm has found.

Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group has published a summary of an independent review of 26 suicides or attempted suicides between September 2014 and December 2015 of people in contact with the city’s community mental health service.

The review covered a period when services were being restructured into “system leadership” model, with Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust partnering with a consortium of voluntary organisations, known as Recovery Bristol Partnership. It was written by consultancy Caring Solutions UK.

As well as identifying “collective failings” in the care of some patients, the review found staff and service disruptions linked to the introduction of new model “had effects on service users”.

“Some service users or would be service users were not allocated for a period of several months and this may well have been life threatening. Several service users went unassessed for several months,” the review said.

Full story on The HSJ 9 May 2017