Tees

Tees mental health staff errors 'not rocket science' to solve

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Image caption More than 100 serious incident reports were filed with the trust in nine months

Health staff have been told it is not "rocket science" that they do "what they're paid for".

It comes after the number of mistakes leading to injury or avoidable deaths at a mental health trust in north-east England were revealed.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust had 105 "serious incident" reports filed between April and December 2018.

Chairwoman Lesley Bessant said it "should not be beyond the wit of us collectively" to address the issue.

"There is nothing here which is remotely difficult - it's actually about people doing what they're paid to do and doing it properly," she said.

"Bad things always happen, of course they will, but some of this is really not difficult to solve."

'Stress and pressure'

An NHS "serious incident" is an event which leads to an "unexpected or avoidable death" or "harm or injury" to a patient, carer, member of staff or visitor, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

A report to the trust listed errors in record keeping, failures to complete risk assessments properly and not taking into account information provided by family members.

Patients' families have in the past been invited share experiences and help the trust learn lessons when things go wrong.

But Ms Bessant said the trust could not keep relying on "families re-traumatising themselves to tell us how to do things properly".

Trust director of nursing Elizabeth Moody said stress and work pressure could lead to errors.

If mistakes were caused by demand and waiting times the trust needed to ask "what should we be doing about it", she said.

The trust runs nine hospitals in the Tees Valley, including West Park in Darlington, Roseberry Park in Middlesbrough, and Sandwell Park in Hartlepool.

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