Health boss sent colleague’s suicide note to 3,000 employees in daily newsletter

An employee's final words before taking his own life were shared with 3,000 employees, sparking outrage.

Chief executive of the Kent and Medway NHS Social Care and Partnership Trust, Helen Greatorex has faced backlash for attaching a tragic note to the daily work newsletter.

KentLive reports a staff member told them the newsletter, which opened with Ms Greatorex's bird spotting, “caused absolute outrage in the organisation".

The CEO said she had shared the letter with the permission of the author’s mum and was "deeply sorry that someone has felt so upset about it."

The health chief, who has been in her role since 2016, starts the update by explaining how she felt ‘extraordinarily lucky’ to have observed a ‘lesser spotted woodpecker’ before going into details about the death of the staff member.

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Ms Greatorex then wrote: “In the meantime, I am going to appendix to this Daily Message, an open letter that [named employee] left for us all to read.

"It is a heartfelt and important letter from someone who felt that they could not go on.

“I think it was an enormously kind and thoughtful act on [named employee’s] part to leave it for all those who knew and loved him and his dear mum has given me permission to share it with all of you.

"It is a very sad letter to read, but it is also something that I think offers us some comfort.

“The named employee had made a decision, he had a very strong Christian faith and he knew with certainty that he was going home at last.”

Ms Greatorex then swiftly moved on to deliver an update on the lateral flow testing.

In a statement released by the Kent and Medway NHS Social Care and Partnership Trust, Ms Greatorex said: ”The staff member was a very well-known and highly regarded colleague whose suicide touched very many people both in our trust and beyond it.

"I am truly and sincerely sorry if by sharing (his) open letter I have offended or upset anyone. That was absolutely not my intention.

“I apologise personally and unreservedly and as always, would be happy to talk to any of my staff who are upset or have concerns about this or any other issue.”

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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