In the Guardian of Monday 21 December 2015, there is a front page article on the deaths of patients with learning disabilities. The figure of 146 unexpected deaths of patients with learning disabilities is attributed to Somerset Partnership. This is incorrect. This was the number of patients with learning disabilities who died in Somerset from 2011 until July 2015. None of these deaths had been declared unexpected by the doctor certifying the patient death and none required further investigation by Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group or NHS England.
Somerset Partnership takes unexpected deaths extremely seriously. We investigate all unexpected deaths of patients within our services. We use the national NHS England guidelines, and have a duty to inform patients' next of kin, carers and families, as soon as possible. For each incident, we conduct a 72 hour review which gathers the facts and ensures that any immediate actions are taken.