In a highly damning independent report, Sussex Partnership NHS foundation trust is today criticised for underestimating the risk of violence posed by mentally ill patients who went on to kill.

At the same time as the report was being released, the trust’s CEO was on The Today Programme and started off by saying: “Today's report is about people. It's about the lives of families which have been devastated.” These comments were duly tweeted by the trust’s media team.

Yet go back a few minutes earlier to listen to the interview with Joe Goswell, whose mother was killed by his father whilst under the care of the trust, and the message is very different. When presenter Nick Robinson asked Mr Goswell whether the trust had given him any briefing or communicated with him prior to the report, listeners heard an unequivocal response: “No, we’ve heard nothing whatsoever as a family. The first time I knew there would be a report that included my parents was when I read about it in The Times.” Mr Goswell went on to say that the trust hadn’t even told him when the report would come out.

Understandably apologies were immediately forthcoming from the trust’s CEO, but this was another entirely avoidable situation.

Regardless of the subject matter or the sector there are a number of communications basics which should be followed with the release of any story. In this case, simply asking: Have all the people that are part of this report been communicated with?

In preparing for the release of a report of this magnitude, which your own organisation commissioned, and by going to the effort of prepping your CEO to be at the mercy of Today (lucky he didn’t get Humphries), you would expect some basics to have been followed. Instead, the trust looks like it’s still not in a position to learn any lessons.