Nick contributes to BBC Radio Kent discussion on inadequate A&E mental health Provision in East Kent

This morning Nick was interviewed extensively on BBC Radio Kent, in relation to the lack of emergency mental health care available to A&E teams through East Kent and beyond.

The issue has been highlighted by Faversham MP, Helen Whately, a member of the Commons Health Select Committee, who is urging local commissioners to provide adequate provision for the forthcoming financial year beginning in April.

Nick stressed the importance of A&E liaison as a front line service and argued that  current provision between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm is totally inadequate.

He also pointed to the strain that is put on other areas of the public service when they cannot call upon support from mental health specialists during emergency hours.

Within the discussion, Nick highlighted two of his cases.

Firstly, that of Peter Franklin, who died in August 2013. Peter took his own life by jumping from a bridge over the M20 having been turned away by the  A&E department at Maidstone Hospital 4 times that day and Priority House (a mental health facility) twice that day.  The crisis team were not available to see him despite him being taken to hospital by a taxi driver who explained that he had found Peter in a suicidal state (at the same bridge to which he later returned and took his life).

Secondly, Simon Willson who died in January 2010 after waiting more than 6 hours for a mental health assessment at Kent and Canterbury Hospital. Simon actually took his life within the Clinical Decisions Unit at the hospital.

Both these cases highlight fully the importance of mental health services 24/7 in the A&E setting.

To listen to the Radio Kent piece from this morning please click below.