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Deaths scandal NHS trust

Deaths scandal NHS trust tells bereaved dad losing patients like ‘airlines and lost baggage’

Richard West described his treatment by Southern Health after son David died aged 28 following a long history of mental health problems

The NHS trust at the centre of a scandal over more than 1,000 deaths told a bereaved family the loss of patients was just like when airlines lose baggage.

The Mirror yesterday told how a review had found Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust failed to investigate the unexpected deaths of more than 1,000 people.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt reacted by saying he was “profoundly shocked” by the findings of the report into the deaths of mental health and learning disability patients.

He offered a “heartfelt apology” to families affected.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt at the Tory Conference, Manchester 2015

Shocked: Health Secretary Hunt © Daily Mirror

Today the father of a man who died while under the care of Southern described how he was told that the death of patients was like an airline losing luggage.

Richard West described how his son, David, died at the age of 28 following a long history of mental health problems after being under the care of the health trust.

Mr West, from Southampton, said he felt his son had been “dismissed” by his carers who described him as “toxic to the system” after the 28-year-old failed to attend an appointment.

The ex-police officer said: “The consultant psychiatrist that was to see him had never seen him before, had no dealings with him at all, just dismissed him really, just wrote on his patient notes that he was toxic to the system, very judgemental.”

Mr West said that following his son’s death he became concerned about the trust’s treatment of his case but said that when he raised the issues with them he was “ignored”.

He said: “There seemed to be themes that they were mentioning on my son’s report which were also occurring in the reports they were writing on similar deaths.”

Mr West said that when he had a meeting with a representative of Southern Health, they described the loss of patients like an airline losing luggage.

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