A MOTHER whose son died in NHS care has reached 50,000 signatures in a petition which could see her campaign taken to Parliament.

Melanie Leahy, of Tolleshunt Knights, is lobbying for a full public inquiry into after her son died at Chelmsford’s Linden Centre – a mental health unit – aged just 20.

Matthew was admitted in 2012 with a delusional disorder caused by cannabis use and was found hanged seven days later.

Three nurses were later disciplined by the Nursing and Midwifery Council for falsifying vital care plans for Matthew that never existed while he was in their care, and an inquest found there had been multiple failings.

The petition must reach 100,000 signatures before its deadline on November 5 to be considered for debate in Parliament before an inquiry can be launched, which will force witnesses to give evidence under oath.

It has received backing from Witham MP Priti Patel, mental health charity Sane and former Care Minister Norman Lamb.

Mrs Leahy said: “If we can get this to debate then every other family nationwide who has had a problem will have the courage to speak up.

“The petition is about getting things changed for others – change needs to come sooner rather than later.

“At the end of the day talking about mental health is great but we need these services to be safe.”

A probe into the deaths of 25 people in NHS mental healthcare, including Matthew, was dropped last year.

Although Essex Police uncovered “clear and basic failings”, they said there was insufficient evidence to bring corporate manslaughter charges and investigators said they will take no further action.

Mrs Leahy added: “I’ve had thousands of messages from other people who have given up on the complaints procedure and they want me to do it for them.

“Reaching 50,000 was a massive milestone – we’ve been climbing that hill and now we’re on the home stretch, although there’s still no guarantee.

“I want to get to that point where we reach 100,000, because that can’t be ignored.”

To sign the petition, visit petition.parliament.uk/petitions/255823