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Growing Number Of Families Seek Justice Ahead Of Essex Mental Health Statutory Inquiry

Growing number of families seek justice ahead of Terms of Reference consultation period for Essex Mental Health Statutory Inquiry

Hodge Jones & Allen now represents 119 clients looking to participate in the Essex Mental Health inquiry as it appoints a new associate to its specialist team

The announcement of the statutory public inquiry into deaths in the former North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, the former South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust and the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, under the newly appointed chair, Baroness Kate Lampard CBE, has triggered another surge in new clients approaching Hodge Jones & Allen for support. The firm now represents 119 families.

The clients are loved ones of individuals failed by the Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust’s (EPUT) and, this week, will see the beginning of the public consultation on the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference. On November 1st, Baroness Kate Lampard will launch the consultation process which will set the necessary parameters of the inquiry before it gets underway.

The current Terms of Reference criteria covers ‘An Independent inquiry into the deaths of mental health patients in Essex between 2000 and 2020

Families represented by Hodge Jones & Allen will be seeking to widen the period of investigation beyond 2020 to the current time as, to exclude more recent deaths will prevent the inquiry from gaining a full understanding of EPUT failures. Sadly, deaths in Essex are continuing.

The beginning of the four-week consultation represents an important step towards justice for the victims of shocking mental health provision in Essex, following a decade-long campaign for the truth spearheaded by Melanie Leahy, whose son Matthew died over a decade ago, at Chelmsford’s Linden Centre.

The new chair, Baroness Lampard CBE is known for leading the NHS investigations into the Jimmy Saville Inquiry.

To meet growing demand for answers and representation from families impacted by mental health failings in the county, Agata Usewicz, leading lawyer and Head of Medical Negligence has joined HJA’s Inquiry Team. Agata brings with her an impressive background of notable casework. Agata’s knowledge of high-level cases involving miscarriages of justice within the healthcare system makes her a pragmatic instigator for families who’ve lost loved ones to inadequate care across mental health wards in Essex.

Hodge Jones and Allen have also appointed a new Associate to join the Essex Inquiry team. Adefolaju Sanda joins with multiple years of experience across personal injury and clinical negligence with a history of managing high-level casework and supporting across a host of cases which stem from overturning inadequacies and pitfalls within society. Ade’s experience and willingness to drive change forward will make him indispensable to the team in the months ahead.

Commenting on the forthcoming consultation period, Nina Ali, Medical Negligence Partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, said: “Establishing updated terms of reference for the inquiry is vital to ensure it is as robust and comprehensive as possible. In preparation for this consultation period, we have consulted with our clients and have a number of requests, to extend the terms of reference, which we believe will help Baroness Lampard and the team get to the root cause of the failings.

“As we know, the previous independent review, led by Dr Geraldine Strathdee, was not able to deliver its remit. With Baroness Lampard’s fresh leadership, we hope our clients can now look forward to the much-needed far-reaching investigation.

“Sadly, more families let down by mental health services in Essex are contacting us and all are seeking answers, accountability and change.”

#essexMHdeaths #matthewscampaign #matthewleahy #statutorypublicinquiry

Notes for Editors

Additional information on the families fight for justice can be found here:

Essex Mental Health Inquiry Chair Appointed

Campaigners’ Victory as Statutory Public Inquiry Into Essex Mental Health Failings Announced

Further Reading Mental Health