The recent trial of Matthew Daley which concluded last week with his conviction of manslaughter at Lewes Crown Court, highlights the difficult decisions our clinical staff face day in day out when caring for people with serious mental health conditions.
This high profile case has resulted in criticism of Sussex Partnership both in court and in the national and local media. This case has resulted in the Trust and NHS England jointly commissioning a thematic review of 10 homicides involving our patients.
As a branch we send our condolences to both families who must be devastated by the tragic incident that led to this trial. As a union the health and safety of our members and the people they care for and work with is of the utmost importance. Issues and concerns about access to training, staffing levels, recruitment and retention and working conditions are always our priority in nearly every meeting we attend. Therefore we welcome any learning that can come from reviewing this and similar cases.
I know that all staff come to work to make a positive contribution to the lives of our patients, their carers and families; whether directly as clinicians or indirectly in the roles that support our clinical staff. Working in mental health in whatever role is both challenging and rewarding, and the very nature of the work means that we can’t get everything right all of the time. All we can do is to keep learning and keep improving and, from a union point of view, keep feeding back to your UNISON reps about your experiences so we can make sure you have the best possible environments and support in order to do the job to the best of your ability.
If you do have concerns about recent media reports and / or the upcoming thematic review please do get in touch so we can support you.