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Family’s Hope For Answers After Body Of Missing Man Found In Canal After Leaving Mental Health Unit

Relatives Instruct Lawyers At Irwin Mitchell To Investigate Care Man Received From Mental Health Trust


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The family of a man whose body was found in the Birmingham Canal six days after he left hospital is hoping an upcoming inquest will provide much-needed answers regarding his death.

The body of Gary Parfitt, 41, was found off New Fosse Way in Selly Oak, on 22 October last year following a police appeal to trace him.

Gary had been admitted to Birmingham Heartlands Hospital after concerns were raised about his mental health. He was later transferred to the care of Birmingham and Solihull NHS Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and was last seen leaving the Trust’s Oleaster Centre.

Following his death his family instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care Gary received at the hands of the Mental Health Trust.

Expert Opinion
Gary was a much-loved son and brother and his family is still struggling to come to terms with his death and how such a tragedy could happen.

“The family has a number of questions regarding the care Gary received from Birmingham and Solihull NHS Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and is hoping the inquest will provide answers to these.

“If the inquest highlights any shortcomings in the care Gary received, it is vital the lessons are learned and new procedures introduced so other families don’t have to suffer the pain and anguish that Gary’s family has felt following his death.”
Tom Riis-Bristow, Solicitor

Gary, from Kingshurst, Birmingham, was admitted to A&E at Heartlands Hospital on 15 October, 2017, because of a deterioration in his mental health. He was transferred to the care of the Oleaster Centre, which is part of Birmingham and Solihull NHS Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, in the early hours of 16 October.

At around 6.30am that day he let himself out of the unit and he was later found dead in a canal close to the Oleaster Centre on 22 October, 2017.

Gary’s dad Raymond said: “It is still hard to believe that Gary is gone and over the last few months his death has been incredibly difficult to come to terms with.

“Losing Gary in this way has raised many questions. While I know the inquest is going to be an emotional time I’m hopeful that the hearing will fully examine all of the facts and help our family get the answers we deserve.”

The inquest is due to take place at Birmingham Coroner’s Court on Monday, 5 March.

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