Calls for a public inquiry into a NHS health trust have intensified after the deaths of patients and damning reports of care services. 

Darlington MP Peter Gibson has called for increased scrutiny into the Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust (TEWV) after reports of the shocking treatment patients received while under the mental health trust’s care. 

TEWV is being prosecuted by the Care Quality Commisision (CQC) in relation to the treatment teenagers Christie Harnett, Emily Moore and a third unnamed person received between 2019 and 2020 before their deaths. Christie, 17, of Newton Aycliffe, had been receiving treatment at West Lane Hospital in Middlesbrough when she took her own life in June 2019. Emily, 18, from Shildon, had been an inpatient at the same hospital until July 2019, before moving to Lanchester Road, Durham in February 2020 but took her own life one week later. 

It comes after damning reports detailed a campaign of alleged bullying and failure to protect patients before the tragic death of the teenagers as well as Nadia Sharif, 17, from Middlesbrough. An investigation into concerns described the staff response to self-harm as “negative and punitive”, while some patients were dragged along the floor in an “excessive and inappropriate” form of restraint

The Northern Echo: The dad's of Emily and Christie have protested about ‘failures’ they believe cost their daughters’ livesThe dad's of Emily and Christie have protested about ‘failures’ they believe cost their daughters’ lives (Image: The Northern Echo)

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, Peter Gibson MP added his voice to the campaign for an inquiry. “In recent weeks and months we’ve seen continuing coverage of yet more alarming news relating to TEWV in The Northern Echo,” he said. “As we await the publication of the rapid review, can my right honourable friend find time for a debate on the performance of TEWV and a potential public inquiry into the trust."

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The government is carrying out an ongoing rapid review into the provision of services at the trust and says details of the outcome will be revealed soon, but has yet to commit to the families’ request for an inquiry.

In response, leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt said: “I’m extremely sorry to hear about the ongoing situation and the difficulties that this is having for the honourable gentleman’s constituency.

"He knows that I’m not able to comment on current legal proceedings which are before his local magistrates court, but I do congratulate him on the diligence that he has been campaigning on these matters and ensuring that his constituents will get the services that they are entitled to and deserve and I shall make sure that the Secretary of State has heard his concerns today.”

The Northern Echo: Peter Gibson MP speaking in the House of Commons on TuesdayPeter Gibson MP speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday (Image: Parliament TV)