Thousands of patient safety incidents were “not reported or adequately investigated”.
An independent investigation into the serious incidents at Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust has been launched amid concerns they were “not reported or adequately investigated” by the trust previously.
Investigators will advise if they believe senior leadership within the trust may have contributed to the delivery of unsafe patient care, identifying any themes, trends or issues that may require further investigation.
A previous review into Liverpool Community Health, described how over-ambitious cost improvement programmes as part of a bid for foundation trust status placed patient safety at risk, leading to serious lapses in care and widespread harm to patients.
A culture of bullying meant that staff were afraid to speak up and safety incidents were ignored or went unrecognised.
The families of former patients and affected staff will also be consulted in order to understand concerns and develop recommendations.
‘We owe it to the patients’.
Investigators will draw upon new evidence identified by Mersey Care and will be chaired by Dr Bill Kirkup working alongside an independent expert oversight panel.
Health Minister Stephen Hammond said: “We owe it to the patients and families affected by substandard care in Liverpool Community Health to establish the full extent of events and give them the answers they need.
“The new investigation we have commissioned will review fresh evidence to make sure no stone is left unturned.”
“We are prepared to take any action that is necessary – locally or nationally – to prevent such occurrences in the future.”
Bill McCarthy, Regional Director NHS England and NHS Improvement (North West), said: “I strongly support this important piece of work to give patients and families the answers they need.
“We have been working closely with the trust and other organisations and will continue to support them until the investigation concludes.”