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Former Accountant's Suicide Could've Been Prevented By NHS Trust

Our medical negligence lawyers helped the family of a former accountant, Martyn, investigate whether more could’ve been done for him while he was in hospital.

The Dispute

Martyn was previously diagnosed with depression when he was 50. In December 2015 he retired from his job as an accountant and at the same time his daughter Kirstie fell seriously ill.

In the months following his retirement his depression got worse and he refused to leave the house or get out of bed. He also developed suicidal thoughts and was admitted to hospital twice, one of which was for an overdose.

His family tried to support him but in March 2016 they took him to Callington Road Hospital. A day into his stay he attempted suicide in his room and he sadly died on April 1, aged 65.

How We Helped

Our medical negligence solicitors, led by Elise Burvill, helped Martyn’s family investigate his care while he was in hospital.

After a 5 day inquest into his death in November 2016, assistant Coroner Dr Harrowing said ‘inadequate checks’ were done to ensure Martyn couldn’t hurt himself while he was in the ward. The Coroner issued a Regulation 28 report calling on Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust to learn lessons from the case and ensure the same issues didn’t happen again.

Martyn’s family received an admission from the Trust that there was a failure to admit him to hospital earlier under the Mental Health Act and they didn’t properly assess him on his arrival. In a letter, the Trust admitted that Martyn’s death could’ve been avoided.

Dr Eastley, Director of the NHS Trust said “We are deeply sorry for Martyn’s death and would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family.

“We fully accept the findings of the Coroner . . . To minimise the risk of similar incidents we have since put in place a number of measures, including suicide prevention training for staff and a significant programme of improvements to our buildings to reduce opportunities for people to harm themselves.”

Elise Burvill stated that “this is a truly tragic case and the inquest into Martyn’s death raised a number of worrying concerns about his care.

“Martyn’s family remain devastated by their loss and feel he was let down when he needed the support of health professionals the most. While nothing will change what has happened, this admission of liability is a step forward in our efforts to help them gain justice regarding their ordeal. We are now fully focused on working with the NHS Trust to bring their case to a swift conclusion.”

Martyn’s daughter, Kirstie, said “the final few months of Dad’s life were incredibly difficult and while we did everything we could to help him, we truly hoped that being admitted to hospital could help him turn a corner.

“We all feel that his death could have been avoided if only greater care was taken. My Dad’s death was a tragic waste of life and all the stories and all the memories we have don’t do him justice. No one should have to face what we have been through and our only hope now is that by gaining justice we can ensure that lessons have definitely been learned which will prevent others facing what Dad did.”

If you or a loved one has suffered from poor care from medical professionals then we could help. Contact our medical negligence solicitors online or call us on 0370 1500 100.

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