AN independent inquiry is inviting families of people who died while receiving inpatient mental health treatment at three Essex hospital trusts to get in touch.

Families and others affected by the deaths are being urged to give their views on the issues to be considered by the Essex Mental Health Independent Inquiry.

Earlier this year the Government announced the inquiry to investigate the circumstances of patients’ deaths over a 20-year period between January 2000 and December 2020 at the former North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, the former South Essex Partnership University Trust, and the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

Now, inquiry chairwoman Dr Geraldine Strathdee wants to hear the views of families and others affected by these events.

Dr Strathdee said: “I cannot imagine the intolerable pain and loss the families of those who died have experienced. I am committed to putting their interests and the interests of those affected by these tragic events at the heart of this inquiry and I urge them to get in touch with us.

“In holding this inquiry, our aim is to get to the truth about what happened and ultimately to improve care for people experiencing mental ill health.

“It is vital we understand the course of events and what has gone wrong if we are to improve the system and services and prevent deaths in future.”

Among those who lost loved ones is Melanie Leahy, from near Maldon, whose son, Matthew, 20, died at the Linden Centre in Chelmsford. She has campaigned for a public inquiry into a number of deaths at the mental health trust. The findings of the inquiry are not expected to be published until 2023.

Those wishing to share their views can go to