Leeds mental health unit suicide: NHS launches internal probe

The Becklin Centre
The Becklin Centre
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Bosses at the Leeds mental health unit where a 44-year-old man is thought to have killed himself over the weekend say they have launched a “full internal inquiry” into the tragedy.

West Yorkshire Police are investigating the death of the man after being called to the Becklin Centre at St James’s University Hospital 1.55pm on Sunday to reports of a suspected suicide.

The force confirmed that enquiries are now ongoing to “establish the circumstances leading up to the male’s death”.

The mental health unit has 90 beds and provides treatment for people detained under the Mental Health Act, as well as diagnostic and screening procedures.

It also offers a mental health, learning disability and substance misuse service and is run by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

A spokesman said yesterday: “The trust is co-operating fully with police enquiries into this tragic incident. A full internal inquiry is taking place and we are continuing to offer support to those involved.”

Earlier this month, concerns were raised for the safety of staff at the Becklin Centre after a worker allegedly had his ear bitten off by a patient.

A 43-year-old man was taken to hospital for emergency treatment. It is claimed he had most of his ear ripped off in an attack outside the unit. It is alleged the staff member was attacked shortly after getting out of his car.

According to the health regulator the Care Quality Commission, the centre is judged to be meeting the required standard in relation to ‘caring for people safely and protecting them from harm’.

But for four out of the five sub-categories for safe care, the mark was based on ‘declarations and evidence given’ to the CQC by the centre itself in 2010 as a full inspection had yet to take place.