Manchester Family Speak Of Son’s Death To Raise Awareness Of Mental Health Issues

Legal Action Against Mental Health and Social Care Trust As Family Seeks Answers

29.09.2015

A Manchester family taking legal action to investigate the care provided to a 26-year-old who was found hanged say they want to raise awareness of mental health issues to prevent others suffering in future.

Tony and Helen Hardy, the parents of James Hardy who hanged himself while being treated in the community for mental health issues, have instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care provided to him by the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust.

James had a diagnosis of schizophrenia and was detained as a psychiatric patient in September 2011 because he had been threatening to harm himself. He was discharged under a Community Treatment Order on 5th April 2012 to live in his own flat with support from community mental health services.

However just 20 days later, on 25th April, his father Tony found him hanging in his apartment after calling in to see his son on his way to work. 

The family, who live in Whalley Range, feel that their son was discharged into community care without adequate support being in place but their allegations have so far been denied by the NHS Trust’s lawyers and the case is set for trial later this year.

Ayse Ince, an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in mental health cases, said:

Expert Opinion
“James’ parents were devastated at his death and have several unanswered questions about the care provided to him in his final months.

“They believe he was prematurely discharged into community care without adequate support being in place and have asked us to investigate the standard of his treatment on their behalf.

“Tony was the one that found his son and naturally it has really affected him psychologically.

“Mental health has become more and more into the spotlight in recent years and it is important that any lessons which can be learnt from James’ death are highlighted so that others don’t suffer in similar circumstances in future.”
Ayse Ince, Associate

Tony, 59, who is an Anglican clergyman, said: “The past three years have been incredibly tough on our family. Finding James on that day changed my life forever and I will never be able to forget that terrible scene.

"It has profoundly affected our whole family and James should have been celebrating his 30th birthday in September this year.

“Nothing can turn back the clock but we hope that by taking legal action we can find out exactly what happened to him and whether more could have been done to prevent his death.

“It is too late for James now but maybe if there are lessons to be learnt we can prevent others from suffering a similar fate. It is so important that mental ill-health continues to have a high profile because we have seen first-hand how it can ruin lives.”

If you or a loved one has suffered due to professional or clinical negligence from a mental health practitioner, or at worst your loved one has died, we can help you to claim compensation. Visit our Mental Health Negligence Claims page for more information.