Dev­as­tated widow calls for bet­ter un­der­stand­ing

Lessons ‘need to be learnt’ on men­tal health aware­ness

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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

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