NHS Trusts Implicated In Man's Suicide

Two NHS Trusts Have Apologised For Failing To Care For A Man Who Killed Himself

04.04.2014

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Two NHS trusts have admitted fault after a man killed himself while at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital in January 1010.

Simon Wilson, 34, was admitted to the facility hours after taking a drug overdose.

He was transferred out of A&E after four hours, but was not seen by mental health experts because of pressures to meet hospital targets. After this, he locked himself in a disabled toilet and hung himself with a belt, dying at the scene.

Booth the hospital and the mental health NHS trust in charge of the man's care have apologised and said they should have done more for the man, who was going through a rough period in his life.

Mr Wilson had been referred to Canterbury's mental health service, run by the Kent and Medway Social Care Partnership Trust in March 2008 after the loss of his job and breakdown of his marriage.

The man had a history of alcohol and drug abuse, leading him to multiple suicide attempts and general deep depression.

Mr Willson's widow, Melanie, mother of their two young children, told the BBC: "He so desperately wanted to get better and was looking for help but simply did not get it."

"He would still be with us today if he had been shown the care and compassion you would expect and had people done their jobs properly."

After investigating the 34-year-old's suicide, the NHS Litigation Authority released a report that found Mr Wilson had died because of an "under evaluation of risk from the outset", adding that he had been severely depressed and at high risk of suicide when he left the hospital.

A spokesperson for Kent and Canterbury Hospital said a number of changes have since been made to ensure a repeat of Mr Wilson's death is never seen again, including training for emergency staff and improved liaison with mental health trusts.

Kent and Medway Social Care Partnership Trust said it was not able to comment on the case.

Expert Opinion
Mental healthcare is a big talking point at present and this situation is indicative of many similar cases we have dealt with across the country.

“Individuals with psychological health concerns can be even more vulnerable than those with physical injuries and need access to the best possible treatment and support.

“If this level of care fails, it can lead to people who already have mental health illnesses suffering further injuries or illness – and as this case highlights, even death. It is crucial that mental health issues are treated with the utmost sensitivity and attention to detail to prevent any future incidents of this nature.”
Julie Lewis, Partner