This is a mother’s seven year fight for answers, truth, change and accountability after the death of her only child in the care of UK Mental Health Services. What really led to Matthew’s death, whilst in the Care Of the State?
Melanie Leahy who has family members in Collier Row, tells the Havering Daily about the tragic death of her son.
“People need to know what’s happening across the UK within our mental health services to young and old alike. All parents need to read this please. What happened to my son could happen to your kids or indeed parents, or you.
“My son Matthew Leahy was deemed to have psychosis and was taken by Essex Police to the Linden Centre, psychiatric ward in Chelmsford, Essex on 7th November 2012.
“Matthew died 7 days later on 15th November 2012. Alone, scared, highly medicated, bruised and in his words ‘in hell’.
“Matthew was in the care of the state, for his safety, yet he was in the most unsafe place he could have been. I’ve been through 7 years of review after review and proved not one investigation to date has been good enough.”
A jury inquest in 2015 concluded:-
MATTHEW JAMES LEAHY WAS SUBJECTED TO A SERIES OF MULTIPLE FAILINGS AND MISSED OPPORTUNITIES OVER A PROLONGED PERIOD OF TIME BY THOSE ENTRUSTED WITH HIS CARE.
THE JURY FOUND THAT RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES WERE NOT ADHERED TO IMPACTING ON MATTHEW’S OVERALL CARE AND WELL BEING LEADING UP TO HIS DEATH.
“He was found with four possibly five needle wounds in his groin, GHB (the date rape drug) in his blood stream, blood in his stomach and bruises just above his ankles.
“Matthew had called home four days before he died begging to come home, saying I’m in hell in here please help me, I’m being drugged and raped on the ward. We told him to call the police. He did exactly that.
Before the police arrived, staff had medicated our son some more.
“The police deemed him of no capacity to be examined. We have later discovered no mental capacity assessment was ever done and the police failed to take any swabs, they failed to seize any clothing.
“Only last month Essex Police released the 999 call transcript and recording, it has taken seven years to get.”
“Not one doctor or police officer examined our son despite him saying three times during the call, that he was bleeding heavily.”
Melanie is fighting for a Statutory Public Inquiry to uncover the truth about what happened to Matthew and to bring about future change.
Melanie launched a petition that reached over 100,000 signatures.
“I offer my sincere thanks to every single person who signed in support, thank you”.
During this delay period Melanie is now asking for people to lobby their own MP.
Attached is a letter can be downloaded and emailed to your MP.
“A full Statutory Public Inquiry would hopefully bring everything into the open. There is a very great need to restore public confidence in mental health services in Essex. A need to identify those accountable for failings and also a need to show the public, that, yes, something is being done.
“The government can say that these failings are a local issue, but I feel that findings from a statutory public inquiry into my son’s death and this Trust will have serious ramifications for other mental health trusts nationwide.
We must learn from history to put an end to this miserable sequence of systemic errors in the system and subsequently expose them though a public inquiry.
“Once uncovered it must be ensured that any recommendations are fully and swiftly implemented.
“Death on a psychiatric ward is not inevitable, and we need action to ensure that a death is never the result of the NHS not meeting someone’s need.
“I am calling on Government to commit to:
1.A Full Statutory Public Inquiry to identify what truly happened to cause the death of Matthew, who was failed by a system which ignored the warning signs of poor and unsafe care and put corporate self interest and cost control ahead of patients and their safety.
2.The Government needs to look at why the serious problems at the trust were not identified and acted on sooner, and important lessons must be learnt for the future of patient care.
3.Recommendations need to be made, designed to change this culture and make sure patients come first by creating a common patient centred culture across the NHS.
More information #Matthewscampaign can be found at Melanie’s Website. http://www.curementalhealth.co.uk
Facebook page:- Justice for Matthew Leahy https://www.facebook.com/groups/470129540220825/?ref=share
Please sign Melanie’s petition below if you have not done so. The petition can be signed from readers overseas as well.