Devastated widow calls for better understanding
Lessons ‘need to be learnt’ on mental health awareness
THE widow of an Uxbridge man who was able to hang himself at Hillingdon Hospital because of failings in his care is calling for better awareness of mental health issues.
Anita Magill, whose late husband Rory killed himself while his nurse was on a break, spoke out ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from May 11 to 17.
She said: “Up until a couple of years ago I was probably quite ignorant of mental health issues. You know some people are depressed or down, but you don’t know what they’re going through.
“It should be more out there. This has really hit it home for me.”
Mr Magill, a 44-yearold father of four, was admitted to A&E on June 13, 2013, having tried to kill himself.
He was assigned oneto-one observation, but his nurse went on a break without handing over responsibility for his care, leaving him unattended.
A short time later he was found dead in the hospital’s day room.
Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital in Pield Heath Road, has accepted responsibility for failings that led to Mr Magill’s death.
Mrs Magill, 43, of St Helen’s Close, Uxbridge, said: “I thought I’d left him in the safest place in the world and it wasn’t.”
She said her husband, a self-employed electrician, worked six days a week, never missing a shift.
He had battled alcohol problems, but Mrs Magill said no one realised how bad his mental health had become.
She added: “No one really knew what was going on with him.
“I knew what he did [trying to kill himself] was serious, but I never thought in a million years he would do what he did.”
Mrs Magill is now suing the hospital, together with specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell.
She said: “This is about getting the awareness out there with people who do have mental health issues and also the hospital learning lessons so it doesn’t happen again.
“It’s still devastating. My life has been totally ripped apart.
“We just go day to day. That’s all we can do. It’s been very hard and the kids have suffered tremendously. It’s torn us apart.”
Paying tribute to her late husband, she added: “He was an absolutely brilliant father.
“I couldn’t have asked for better in terms of love and providing for the kids.”
n 'GENTLE GIANT':
Father-of-four Rory Magill from Uxbridge