High Court rules on investigations of psychiatric deaths

The Royal Courts of Justiceprovided by: INQUEST
published: 10 October 2013

R (Antoniou) v 1. The CNWL NHS Trust; The Secretary of State for Health; & NHS England CO/7495/2011

The High Court has handed down judgment today on whether the UK should create a system for independently investigating the deaths of detained psychiatric patients. Lord Justice Aiken and Mr Justice Mitting found that such a system was not required under the current law but raised the possibility that the UK may wish to create such a system on grounds of public policy.

Today’s High Court judgment rejected Dr Michael Antoniou’s judicial review of the failure to conduct an independent investigation into his wife’s death in psychiatric detention.

Mrs Jane Antoniou, a well known mental health campaigner, was found dead in her room at Northwick Park hospital in Harrow, London on 23 October 2010. She was detained at the time under section.

An investigation was launched by the same NHS Trust that had responsibility for Mrs Antoniou’s care in detention (the Central and North West London NHS Trust).

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