Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, responsible for mental health services in the region, is to carry out a review into the care of a Westgate dad who was tragically found dead in Margate last week.
Ben Stone ended his life after being unable to access mental health support.
Ben’s brother Lee Thrumble had taken his life some 14 months before that.
Devastated sister Lucy Thrumble said: “Just a few weeks ago Ben tried desperately to get support from the Beacon but was told he would have to wait a year even though he was “on their books”. He was turned away by self referral due to being under the Beacon.
“He tried to get readmitted to St Martins for the third time via the crisis team but again there was a waiting list. Ben made the decision to “man up”……. But the facade took its toll.”
In response to news that a review will be carried out Lucy said: “Hopefully Ben’s and others sacrifices will help to make a positive difference to those still prisoners to their own minds, struggling daily.”
Helen Greatorex, Chief Executive for Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, said: “We were deeply sorry to learn of Ben’s death. Our sincerest condolences are with Ben’s family and all who loved him.
“We are carefully reviewing Ben’s care and what happened. We will be making sure that any questions that his family might have are included in the review and we will, if they would like us to, share the findings with them.”
A petition demanding improved access to Thanet’ mental health services for those in need of help has also been launched and has attracted some 2,500 signatures in just two days.
Labour district and county councillor Karen Constantine launched the petition following The Isle of Thanet News article about the struggle faced by Ben and the tragic death of his brother Lee Thrumble just 14 months ago.
Lucy and her family are now campaigning for better access to services in a bid to avoid another family having to grieve.
Cllr Constantine has called for an urgent meeting with health bosses and MP Craig Mackinlay to see where services have failed and what improvements could be made.
She said: “I have received a huge amount of contact about this from people affected and those suffering directly because they are not able to access appropriate mental health services. We need to know what is happening to those people.
“It is not about creating unnecessary panic but there must be a meeting and we must get everything unpacked and on the table.
“The Clinical Commissioning Group needs to come up with a robust plan that meets the needs of local residents. MP Craig Mackinlay needs to take a significant part in this.
“Too many people are missing out on vital mental health services. Too many people are struggling to get appointments and treatments to deal with their mental health needs. They are unable to see GPs, and unable to access mental health services of all types. Thanet residents need decent access to all types of mental health services.”
A public meeting is being arranged for mid-July.