As much as 20 deaths at an NHS-run psychological well being unit are being investigated as a part of a police inquiry, the BBC has realized.
It follows recent investigations into the loss of life of Matthew Leahy, who was discovered hanged at Linden Centre in 2012.
His mom, Melanie Leahy, mentioned her talks with Essex Police recommended the instances had taken place within the final 17 years.
The Essex NHS Belief mentioned affected person security was a “high precedence”.
Essex Police advised the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme it was “conducting preliminary enquiries into a lot of deaths which have occurred on the Linden Centre since 2000”.
A full investigation might happen later relying on the result.
Matthew Leahy was admitted to the Linden Centre in Chelmsford in 2012 aged 20, after his psychological well being issues had spiralled following hashish use. He additionally suffered hallucinations.
His mom Melanie mentioned workers advised her to not go to see her son for the primary seven days, to “let him choose the ward”.
Per week later, she was known as by a health care provider who knowledgeable her that her son had hanged himself.
She mentioned he had advised her in a textual content earlier that week he was “in hell”.
Two years later, an inquest concluded Mr Leahy had been subjected to a sequence of failings and missed alternatives over an extended time period.
“Every affected person supposedly has a care plan and it got here to gentle that Matthew had no care plan,” Ms Leahy defined.
“He had no key employee, no-one knew something for 2 days. There wasn’t even any commentary sheets.”
Following the inquest, the coroner recommended the belief maintain a public inquiry into his loss of life – however the belief mentioned it might take funding away from front-line providers.
Ms Leahy mentioned Essex Police had confirmed they had been “nonetheless investigating my son’s loss of life however are additionally … as much as 20 sufferers, all who died by the identical means.”
‘Deemed a troublemaker’
One nurse, who left the belief in mid-2016 after a decade and wished to stay nameless, mentioned ligature factors – options in a room that can be utilized to kill oneself – had been recognized “a few years earlier than” Mr Leahy’s loss of life however had not been resolved.
“If you happen to requested too many questions you had been deemed as a troublemaker and issues made tough for you,” he mentioned.
The Essex NHS Belief mentioned the historical past of great incidents on the Linden Centre was of “nice concern”.
It added it was “enhancing programs to make sure that investigations are carried out rigorously”.
Throughout an inspection of the Linden Centre in August 2015 by the regulator, the CQC, inspectors reported that “one affected person tried to strangle themselves with a ligature”.
A yr later they discovered security was nonetheless a priority.
“The belief should be certain that motion is taken to take away recognized ligature dangers,” the report mentioned.
Final week, an inquest jury discovered that one other affected person, Richard Wade, died in Might 2015 on the Linden Centre after workers didn’t take away a dressing-gown twine that he used to take his personal life.
‘Not studying from errors’
Affected person suicides have additionally taken place in different areas of the belief.
In 2016, Melanie Lowe was admitted to hospital underneath the care of the belief after her psychological well being made her more and more unstable.
She took an overdose with drugs from her personal washbag, and – when admitted to hospital – remained on fixed watch.
However her commentary ranges had been later downgraded kind fixed watch to the minimal stage required.
Ms Lowe took her personal life, suffocating herself.
On the inquest final November, the coroner heard proof of a list of errors.
Lawyer Rachel Codd, representing Ms Lowe’s household, mentioned she had tried to abscond twice whereas on fixed watch, however the locum psychiatrist who reassessed her upon admission didn’t have entry to the commentary notes.
She added: “It appears fairly regarding that the belief does not appear to be studying from earlier errors.”
Watch the Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC Information channel.