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NHS Accept Responisibility for Joanne (Joe) Bingley’s Death

The NHS have finally accepted responsibility for the death of Joanne (Joe) Bingley.

In a statement submitted to court in December 2013 the NHS admit that the NHS Trust that treated Joe failed in their “duty of care, failed to obtain “Informed Consent” and failed to offer  and provide access to specialist perinatal psychiatric services (i.e. Leeds Mother and Baby Unit) in accordance with appropriate standards of care, and that these failures were the probable cause of her death.

80% of Mums who commit suicide whilst suffering Postnatal Depression are “avoidable
deaths”. According to the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Death their illness could have been spotted earlier and with the correct treatment they would have made a full recovery.

Following the death of the psychiatrist Dr Daksha Emson and her child, the The Royal

College of Psychiatry created the faculty of Perinatal Mental Health as a speciality and following release in 2003 of the public enquiry in what happened to Daksha and her baby the government made promises that the NHS would deliver “Specialists In Perinatal Mental Health” to care for women in crisis who suffer from postnatal depression.

So more than 10 years later WHY?

· More than 35,000 mums are left suffering in silence every year (2)

· Mums are too scared to come forward for treatment for fear of having their child taken away (2)

· Dads are left supporting Mums to scared to seek help or turn to health care professionals (4)

· Health Care Professionals are still asking for “Specialists In Perinatal Mental Health and access to services so that they can support mums, dads and families suffering the trauma and crisis (4)

The sad facts are:

  • The NHS has failed to commission services and across more than 50% of the country (1)
  • There are huge gaps and discrepancies in services throughout the UK (3)
  • The stigma associated with suffering mental illness has not gone away
  • Mental health patients do not get “equality of care” with patients suffering physical illness
  • Society pays a huge price …… not just the families who suffer directly……. but also the people who witness and deal with the all too often violent deaths ….. in my wife’s case including a 7 year old child.

The Coroner Inquest into the treatment and death of Joanne (Joe) Bingley confirmed as fact:

· “The failure to obtain ‘Informed Consent’ in accordance with General Medical Council Guidelines”.

· “That Independent Investigation, conducted by eminent experts, that from the clinical evidence available, Joe should have been hospitalised at least 3 days before she died, and if she had received this treatment would still be alive today”

Following the Coroner Inquest into my wife’s own death I started my campaign for an enquiry into her mistreatment and also that of so many other mental health patients who have suffered an “avoidable death”.

The Care Quality Commission reported in 2011 that:

· 20% NHS Trusts providing Maternity Services operating in Breach of The Law

· An “embedded culture” of poor care and unprofessional behaviour

· “Catastrophic failings” by NHS staff to provide basic care to patients.

The Care Quality
Commission finds 20% Maternity Services (NHS trusts) operating in breach of the
law (Oct 2011)

- And The Care Quality Commission reported in April 2012, on their investigation of the NHS trust responsible for Joanne Bingley’s (my wife’s) treatment, they found:

· Failure to implement to acceptable quality standards the recommendations from the Independent Investigation…… i.e “lessons NOT learned” and not implemented.

· The NHS trust still had no trained, qualified or experienced perinatal mental health specialists

· Evidence that patients in this specific user group being placed at risk……due to a lack of training

Care Quality Commission Report: Mother’s death highlights
care system failures – 13 Apr 2012

And that is WHY?

…the highest cause of maternal death is suicide as a result of depression and,

…tens of thousands of mums and families suffer unnecessarily every year!


(1) Patients Association Survey Into Primary Care Trust Commissioning Of Perinatal Mental Health Services (March 2011)

(2) Family Action Survey (2012)

(3) NSPCC Report Into Perinatal Mental Health Care Services (June 2013)

(4) Boots, Thommy’s, Netmums, Royal College of Midwives Survey Into Perinatal Mental Health Care Services (Oct 2013)

(5) Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Death