Special review launched into NHS trust where Nottingham triple killer was treated before attacks

29 January 2024, 08:54 | Updated: 29 January 2024, 09:54

A special review has been ordered into the NHS trust where Calocane was treated
A special review has been ordered into the NHS trust where Calocane was treated. Picture: Handout/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A special review has been ordered into the NHS trust where Nottingham triple killer Valdo Calocane was treated for mental illness before going on a knife rampage.

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The healthcare watchdog has been asked to report by March on its findings of an investigation into the care Calocane received at Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.

The 32-year-old fatally attacked students Barnaby Webber and Grace O'Malley-Kumar, both 19, before killing school caretaker Ian Coates last June.

A judge previously handed down a hospital order at his sentencing for manslaughter by diminished responsibility after the court heard he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Emma Webber, the mother of attack victim Barnaby Webber, said she was "ill-prepared" to find out Calocane's manslaughter plea had been accepted.

Read more: Inside plush secure hospital Nottingham killer Valdo Calocane is detained in after stabbing three people to death

Read more: Ex-police officer believes he was assaulted by triple killer Valdo Calocane one year before deadly Nottingham attacks

Barnaby Webber
Barnaby Webber. Picture: Handout

"I feel now with hindsight that I was foolish to just trust in our legal system. And I hate to say that, because I do feel let down," she told Sky.

"We were led to believe all of summer that it would be a murder charge for our son and the other two victims, and then attempted murder for the other three victims.

"It's a massive, heinous crime. So we were ill-prepared for being told... that they were going to be accepting a diminished responsibility, which meant manslaughter.

"And I think that was the moment that everything turned."

Grace O'Malley-Kumar
Grace O'Malley-Kumar. Picture: Alamy

The victims' families have also questioned the care he received before the killings.

Announcing the Care Quality Commission (CQC) review, Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said: "My thoughts remain with the families and friends of Barnaby, Grace and Ian, who lost their lives in such a tragic, cruel and barbaric way.

"It is crucial that our mental health services ensure both the care of patients and the safety of the public.

"I hope the review provides the families and public with some much-needed answers, and that it helps the Trust to improve the standard of mental health care in Nottinghamshire."

There are already investigations under way at Highbury Hospital in Nottingham after separate recent staff suspensions, the DHSC said.

Ian Coates
Ian Coates. Picture: Alamy

The CQC will focus on wider issues in mental healthcare provision in Nottingham and will need to deliver findings within weeks on patient and public safety as well as the quality of care provided across the trust.

Rampton Hospital - one of three high security hospitals across the country and part of the trust - recently received an 'inadequate' inspection rating from the watchdog.

The government has asked the regulator to assess the progress made by the hospital to improve standards since that inspection.

Director of mental health at the CQC, Chris Dzikiti said: "We will conduct a rapid review into mental health services in Nottingham to understand whether there are any practical actions which can be taken to improve the quality of services and ensure people receive safe and effective care.

"We will begin this work immediately, aiming to report to the Secretary of State before the end of March."

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