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MP slams mental health trust
AN MP has condemned mental health services in south Essex after receiving “constant criticism” about them from constituents.
David Amess, MP for Southend West, has called for the Government to take action against South Essex Partnership Trust after a series of complaints to healthcare watchdogs failed to achieve results.
The Torywas also critical of the mental health trust’s leadership, questioning the rise of former chief executive Dr Patrick Geoghegan, who started his career as a hospital porter.
Mr Amess made his comments in a House of Commons debate in which he called for action.
Mr Amess, who was MP for Basildon before moving to Southend West in 1997, said: “For anyone who wants to know, mental health services in my area were headed until last month by Dr Patrick Geoghegan.
“When I was the MP for Basildon, he was a hospital porter.
I am not sure how someone goes from being a hospital porter to being the chief executive – I think he was paid £230,000 – but I could go on and on about it.
“He took retirement last month, but the culture continues. He has been replaced by his long-serving deputy. That situation is simply not good enough.
“I have complained to Monitor, the Care Quality Commission and the Health Service Ombudsman, but I seem to be getting absolutely nowhere, so I ask the Deputy Leader of the House to have a word with the Minister of State at the Department of Health to see whether he can be more robust on the issue.”
The trust’s mental health services have been criticised a number of times over recent years.
The Echo revealed the trust carried out internal investigations into the unexpected deaths of 15 patients in the year up to 2010.
A total of 13 psychiatrists left the trust that year, with three sending damning letters to colleagues.
The trust has confirmed it has received complaints from Mr Amess, but said all had been dealt with according to official procedures.
The trust defended its record and Dr Geoghegan’s record as chief executive.
A spokeswoman said: “South Essex Partnership Trust has previously received complaints from Mr Amess on behalf of his constituents, the nature of which is covered under patient confidentiality and therefore cannot be disclosed.
“The trust has always valued the expertise and front-line clinical experience which Professor Dr Patrick Geoghegan was able to bring to his role as the chief executive, before retiring earlier this year with over 36 years NHS clinical and leadership experience.
“The trust responds appropriately to all complaints received within the formal NHS complaints procedure and encourages any questions or concerns to be raised through this process.”
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