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Seni Lewis' mother marks the tenth anniversary of her son's death

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Aji Lewis, mother of 
Seni Lewis, has marked the tenth anniversary of her son's death by thanking people who work in mental health services for their commitment to learn and improve. Watch the video here.

Seni Lewis, who was 23, died in 2010 soon after being restrained by police officers at Bethlem Royal Hospital in Beckenham, part of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. 


Aji Lewis said: “I wanted to thank all the people who are working hard to make change in our mental health institutions. It is a tough time with the pandemic but I just want everyone to know that Seni’s family work with SLaM because we believe change is coming.


“We work with SLaM because we feel the organisation has made great strides to change and is willing to admit to and correct their faults. I don’t want any other family to go through our pain and hurt and sacrifice. Seni was a bright star in our lives. His death wasn’t in vain because we have been able to get Seni’s Law through Parliament. 


“I want everyone to know at this time it is important that we work together. It is important that everyone looks forward and does the best they can in this minute.” 


Michael Holland, Medical Director at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said: “As a Trust, it is crucial that we continue to engage our staff and wider communities in the vital discussion about Seni Lewis’ tragic death and ensure his story is never forgotten. 


“We have made good progress over the last ten years and we remain strongly committed to educating and supporting our staff to ensure we can deliver safe care to everyone in our services.”


Over the last ten years the Trust has focused on preventing restraint and escalation of conflict. Our work includes:

  • Using Quality Improvement methods to develop the Four Steps to Safety package of interventions to drive safer, more collaborative care  
  • Developing our training so that it is certified against the Restraint Reduction Network National Training Standards.
  • Using data to understand the reasons behind the use of restraint to help us develop alternatives.
  • Engaging and working with people with lived experience of mental healthcare and restraint, carers and the wider community.
  • Implementing Seni’s Law – the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act.
  • Continuing to work to improve physical healthcare monitoring for all patients who use our services
  • Safety Collaboratives – Establishing a regional safety collaborative across the South London partnership and contributing to the national collaborative focused on reducing restrictive practice - As part of this work the Trust’s Adolescent Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) has been recognised nationally for their improvement in reducing use of restrictive practices.


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