Justice Sec. investigating suicides at Eindhoven psychiatric clinic

Klaas Dijkhoff (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)Klaas Dijkhoff (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice asked his ministry's Inspectorate to launch an investigation at psychiatric institution Woenselse Poort in Eindhoven following a series of suicides and other incidents. "We want quick clarification on what the facts are", Dijkhoff said, Eindhovens Dagblad reports

This year saw a number of incidents at Woenselse Poort, including a double suicide with a firearm smuggled into the institution, two other suicides and a suicide attempt. Clients and former clients of the institute also report how easy it is to smuggle drugs or alcohol in. And recently an empoyee was dismissed for having a romantic relationship with a client.

The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, called on Dijkhoff to intervene. The call was led by CDA parliamentarian Madeleine van Toorenburg. "There are so many worrying signals. I get them myself. When I read those letters, I think, there is really something going on."

The CDA could count on broad support in the Kamer, according to the newspaper. PvdA MP Harm Brouwer spoke of serious abuses". VVD parliamentarian Foort van Oosten called the signals "very worrying". And PVV MP Lilian Helder called it "high time for concrete action".

The institution falls under GGZ Eindhoven. On Thursday GGZe chairman Joep Verbugt also contacted the Ministry of Security and Justice asking for an investigation at the clinic. He told Eindhovens Dagblad that the incidents have their "full attention". "A number of suicides in a row set us thinking: are we doing enough?", he said to the newspaper. "We are working on an improvement plan. We are looking at, among other things, keeping drugs and weapons out, access control and the situations surrounding the suicides."