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HSE investigation into NHS Trust continues

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into how risks were managed in mental health wards at North Essex Partnership University Trust will continue.

HSE has worked alongside Essex Police, who have confirmed their investigation into a number of patient deaths at the Trust has concluded.

Since November 2016, HSE has been investigating how the Trust managed mental health ward environments in relation to potential ligature points between October 2004 and March 2015, at which time the Care Quality Commission took on the lead regulatory role for patient safety.

Since January 2017, Essex Police, with the support of HSE, has carried out its own parallel investigation into patient deaths and has now confirmed this inquiry has concluded.

A HSE spokesperson said: “Our thoughts remain with the families involved and we fully recognise the importance of their dialogue with Essex Police in light of these developments.

For two years, we have been fully investigating whether health and safety laws have been breached. At the conclusion of our investigation, we will consider whether any charges should be brought.

"We want to be clear about our remit, which is different to that of the police, and it is unlikely our investigation will conclude in the next six months. We are working hard to keep the families informed, and will continue to update them as the investigation progresses.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. Further information is available about the legislation referred to in this case.
  3. Latest HSE press releases.
Updated: 2018-12-11