NHS trust that treated Valdo Calocane as a subject of special review

A troubled NHS trust that treated Valdo Calocane for paranoid schizophrenia before he murdered three people in Nottingham last year will be the subject of a special review.

Ministers said the trust review of the Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation would help provide answers to the families of Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates, who were murdered by Calocane last June.

Calocane had suffered from extreme mental illness for years before his violent rampage. His plea to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility was accepted by prosecutors last week. He had been out of the trust’s Highbury Hospital due to his mental health problems, and also under the care of a community team.

The health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, has downgraded its confidence to “requires improvement” following an inspection in November 2022. It will carry out the review and has been asked to present its findings in March. The CQC investigation will be carried out in conjunction with an independent inquiry into mental health homicides, commissioned by NHS England.

In December, more than 30 staff at Highbury Hospital were suspended over serious allegations including assaulting patients and falsifying records. the independent unveiled last week.

These allegations are being dealt with separately, according to a press statement from the Department of Health and Social Care. It said: “Investigations at Highbury Hospital are continuing in light of separate recent staff suspensions and a rapid improvement plan is underway, overseen by a new monitoring board established to ensure appropriate action is being taken.”

The trust also runs Rampton’s high-security hospital, which was judged inadequate by the CQC this month. It had not treated Calocane before the murders.

Calocane first came into contact with mental health services in May 2020 when he went to A&E believing he was having a heart attack, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

Over the next few years leading up to his deadly rampage, he was repeatedly taken to Highbury Hospital due to a number of incidents and refused to take medication regularly.

In September 2021, his apartment was searched after he avoided contact with his community mental health team. Eight months’ worth of unused medication was found and his behavior was hostile. He also attacked a police officer while being taken to hospital in Highbury.

After being released in October 2021, he missed mental health appointments and often appeared confrontational. In January 2022, he was reassigned after an altercation with his roommate. It was later discovered that Calocane first started buying guns in 2022 because voices told him to harm others, psychiatrists said.

In May 2022, he traveled to London and attempted to hand himself over to MI5, which he believed was controlling him.

For almost a year before his fatal attack, he was off medication and had no contact with psychiatric services.

The CQC’s inspection in November 2022 identified several services in need of improvement, including psychiatric intensive care and mental health rehabilitation units. Inspectors did not assess mental health crisis services and community-based adult mental health services, as both were rated ‘good’ in May 2019. Inspectors also praised staff’s commitment to improvement.

Health Minister Victoria Atkins said: “It is vital that our mental health services ensure both the care of patients and the safety of the public.

“I hope the review provides families and the public with some much-needed answers, and that it helps the trust improve the quality of mental health care in Nottinghamshire.”

Chris Dzikiti, director of mental health at the CQC, said: “We will be carrying out a rapid review of mental health services in Nottingham to understand whether there are practical actions that can be taken to improve the quality of services and ensure that people receive safe and effective services. concern. We will begin this work immediately and aim to report to the Secretary of State before the end of March.”

The trust has been contacted for comment. An earlier comment to the Independent said: “Nottinghamshire Healthcare is committed to ensuring that we provide our patients with the very best and safest care we can possibly provide… As investigations into these allegations are ongoing, we cannot proceed further Comment.”