Identifying people at risk early must be priority, says new boss
NEW mental health trust boss Angela McNab used to run healthcare at the Ministry of Defence.
She vowed: "My priority is to build on the work that has already started and to expand and strengthen community services.
"It is vital we work on better early intervention, identifying people's mental health needs and what we can do for them as early as possible."
But she admitted: "There are financial constraints across the country in the public sector. If we can focus our resources at the front end while keeping the number of beds for inpatients related to the number of people who need help we can drive up the quality of our services."
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Her arrival at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust comes after a spate of deaths involving what might have been lapses in care.
The latest was Herne Bay man Craig Wallis, 37. The drugs death suspect walked out of the mental health unit at Ashford's William Harvey Hospital without his insulin on Wednesday April 11 and was found dead in nearby woodland ten days later.
His mother Eileen said: "I thought he was getting the help he needed."
In March, east Kent coroner Rebecca Cobb demanded an investigation after hearing that Christopher James West, 42, of Hersden had pleaded with doctors for help at Kent and Canterbury Hospital but had to wait so long he drove off and later committed suicide.
Mrs McNab said: "It is clear we must have stronger governance processes. The sharing of information with partners such as the police, the county council and accident and emergency teams is vital. It proves identifying people at risk early must be a priority."
The former head of the human fertilisation and embryology authority and director of public health delivery at the Department of Health says things are already improving.