At least 261 sectioned hospital patients in England are known to have died in 2011, compared to 189 deaths in prison and 31 in police custody in England and Wales, The Independent can reveal.
Historically mental health deaths were excluded from this level of scrutiny. But a landmark ruling in 2008 from the House of Lords declared hospitals have a duty to reasonably protect detained psychiatric patients from taking their own lives. The case involved the death of sectioned patient Carole Savage, aged 49, in July 2004, who committed suicide by jumping in front of a train after leaving hospital unnoticed.
Lynne didn’t commit suicide she died from neglect but the hospital was never scrutinised nor investigated. People who really knew Lynne and knew the physical pain she was in weren’t allowed (for some reason) to testify at the inquest which contradicted the hospital’s account
Source : Press Association
It has been revealed that more than 650 retired residents have died of dehydration in the past five years.
During the same period 157 vulnerable pensioners died of malnutrition, with almost 2,000 passing away from superbugs such as Clostridium difficile and MRSA.
There are fears that the actual totals could also be higher because care home residents who die in hospital are not included in the statistics.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said:
‘4 in 10 older people are likely to be malnourished when they enter a care home due to suffering illnesses such as dementia or a lack of support to prepare food. Malnourishment can have serious consequences for older people, such as delaying recovery from illness.
‘With such a high number of people entering care homes with malnutrition, making sure residents eat nutritious, regular meals must be a high a priority for care home staff.
‘Nutritional needs change as we get older and when people are ill or are coming towards the end of their lives, it can become more difficult to eat properly. So it is particularly important that mealtimes in care homes are enjoyable, residents are given appropriate support to eat and are able to choose food they find appealing.’
The figures were compiled by the Office for National Statistics after an analysis of the death certificates of care home residents in England and Wales between 2005 and 2009. The totals cover both contributory factors and underlying causes of death.
Analysts found there were 667 victims of dehydration, 157 of malnutrition and 1,928 deaths linked to superbugs. Some 1,446 died suffering pressure ulcers, otherwise know as bedsores, while 4,866 died with septicaemia, or blood poisoning. Another 4,881 had fatal falls.
According to the figures, the number of deaths linked to dehydration doubled, while those involving superbugs rose sevenfold during the previous government’s rule.