Following a fatal stabbing of a police officer in Birmingham in May 2004, an independent report commissioned by West Midlands Strategic Health Authority has recommended that mental health services in Birmingham should review how they share information about service users with the police. Glaister Earle Butler was given an indeterminate term sentence to be served at a secure unit following his conviction of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The report detailed a number of errors amounting to a failure by the mental health service to realise the extent of the patient’s illness and the risk he posed to the community.

The report recommended a review of the advice, support and training available to the police for dealing with known mental health service users. Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust have agreed a joint action plan with NHS Birmingham East and North and Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT. This will be followed up and overseen by the PCTs and Monitor.

The report can be accessed here.

Also just published are two reports commissioned by NHS London into the killings of two people by a man with schizophrenia which concluded that there is a need for only those professionals with enough experience and training to have responsibility for patients and the need for better communication between all agencies.

Those reports can be accessed here