Manager who gloated about getting away with coverage of patient’s death is dismissed
PUBLISHED: 06:30 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 18:48 09 June 2020
An NHS communications manager who gloated that his trust “got away” with coverage about the death of a dementia patient has been dismissed.
Mark Prentice, who worked for the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), sent a triumphant email to his bosses in January about media reports of the death of Doreen Livermore, sparking anger from Mrs Livermore’s family.
The 88-year old died in January 2018 after being attacked by a patient who had been under the NSFT’s care.
Before the attack, Mrs Livermore’s family had repeatedly complained to the care home about the man being violent.
It sparked an investigation which criticised the NSFT for discharging the attacker from its service too quickly.
But the media coverage of that investigation, which was published in January this year, did not focus on the NSFT’s failings, leading Mr Prentice to write:
“We seem to have got away (again) with the Adult Safeguarding Review.
“I think we may have been saved by the death of Terry Jones,” referring to the Monty Python star who died from dementia on the same day as media coverage of the report.
However Mr Prentice accidentally sent that January email to a journalist at this newspaper and we published it.
It prompted Mrs Livermore’s family to call for an investigation into the culture of the NSFT’s communications department.
That report looked at 5,000 other emails in the department and found that Mr Prentice’s email was a one-off.
Despite finding no other concerns, it came up with some recommendations, including on staffing.
Mrs Livermore’s son, Roy, from Snettisham, said: “The report doesn’t really tell me anything.
“It talks a lot about how there were vacancies in the communications team, but I don’t see how that justifies what was done.”
A spokesman for the NSFT said: “We recognise that we have work to do to change the way we think, feel and behave, and all areas of the trust will be part of that.”
They added that regulator, the Care Quality Commission, found when they last inspected that staff felt the culture of the trust was improving, but there was some way to go.
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