Published: 13/06/2002, Volume II2, No.5809 Page 5

The Commission for Health Improvement has launched an investigation into 'serious concerns' over learning disabilities services at Bedfordshire and Luton Community trust.

There have been five separate inquiries at the trust into the service since 1996 following a series of incidents resulting in 'poor outcomes for people with learning disabilities'.

These included the deaths of two patients, who choked in incidents in July 1997 and May 1999 while under the care of the trust.

The investigation was sparked by concerns from North and Mid Bedfordshire community health council. It will look at whether 'learning following repeated service failure is shared with other areas of the trust'.

The trust said it welcomed the investigation and would co-operate fully with CHI and act promply on its recommendations.