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Family Wants Answers As Man Found Hanged In Woodland After Assessment By Mental Health Services

Mother Hopes Inquest Will Determine Whether More Could Have Been Done To Prevent Son’s Death


The family of a man found hanged in woodland two days after a telephone assessment by mental health services is hoping an inquest into his death will shed light on the care he received before he died.

Oliver Ford, from Weston-Super-Mare, was found dead on Sunday, August 16, 2015; two days after his mother referred him to Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. 

Oliver’s mother Sarah Ford, and his partner Naomi Marrett instructed expert civil liberties lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the circumstances of the referral and the 25-year-old’s care under the Trust.

Sarah said: “We just want to know if more could have been done to save Oliver, and whether a telephone assessment was the best way to gauge a person’s mental health, particularly when the history is as complicated as Oliver’s.”

Naomi, who has two children with Oliver, added: “Nothing can change what has happened to Oliver or the impact on us as his family. But if the inquest can identify anything which could prevent further deaths, that would mean something.”

The police  had responded to a call from Oliver and completed a welfare check at his home on August 14. Mental health staff from the Trust then carried out a telephone assessment.

But the following day, Oliver, who had a history of suicide attempts, was reported missing to Avon and Somerset Police by Sarah, after Naomi received a worrying text message from him.

Oliver was found at 2pm the following day in woods near his childhood home in Clevedon, Somerset. He had been dead several hours.

An inquest into his death is scheduled to be held at Avon Coroners Court in Flax Bourton on 9 August 2016 and is expected to last three days.

Fiona McGhie, an expert civil liberties lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Oliver’s family and partner, said:

Expert Opinion
“Sarah, Naomi and the rest of Oliver’s family are devastated by his loss, and that feeling has been compounded by the unanswered questions about whether more could have been done to prevent his death.

“They are hoping that Tuesday’s inquest will highlight any flaws or failings there may be so these can be learned from to prevent other tragedies.”
Fiona McGhie, Associate

Sometimes mental health professionals can fail in the duty of care. If you or a loved one has suffered due to professional or medical negligence we can help you to claim compensation. Visit our Mental Health Negligence Claims page for more information.

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