Letter to Richard Graham MP – Inquiry into deaths in supported housing

By 7th February 2018 No Comments

Dear Mr Graham,

Deaths in supported housing in Gloucester

I am writing to you concerning the number of deaths that have taken place in supported housing in Gloucester in the last year.

When questioned in the council chamber on how many people have died in supported housing, Councillor Colin Organ (Conservative Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning) replied that he did not have those statistics. He did reply was aware that 43 people died from suicide recorded by the Coroner in Gloucester during the past year and that at least 3 of these were living in supported housing at the time.

It is likely that the actual number of those living in supported housing who have died is much higher. Independent analysts have put the figure as high as 60. Indeed Lynn Horsley, the Manager of the Dorchester Hotel in Gloucester has reported her concerns at the recent suicide of a resident in her Bed & Breakfast establishment and complained about the lack of support services from statutory agencies. There were 8 deaths in the Dorchester alone last year.

These figures are very alarming, and they clearly show that there are serious problems with the current support system that is failing people to an extremely severe degree. We must understand why so many deaths have occurred, and how Gloucester’s support services failed to protect these people.

I am calling on you as the MP for Gloucester to launch an inquiry into ensuring we ascertain the number of deaths in supported housing in 2017 and further inquire in what circumstances these deaths have occured, understanding how the level of support services is inadequate and what more can be done to prevent further deaths in the future.

Without a full public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding these tragic deaths, I fear that more vulnerable people at risk will take their own lives in future.

Yours sincerely,

Fran Boait
Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Gloucester

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