Man found dead in river after leaving mental health ward
A MANIC depressive was found dead hours after walking out of a mental health ward, an inquest was told.
The body of Peter Summers, 53, was discovered in a river in Kennington on May 16.
He had left the Arundel unit at the William Harvey Hospital 12 hours before.
An inquest at Ashford Court on Thursday heard how it was the fourth time the retired builder, who had bi-polar affective disorder, had been admitted to the ward.
Coroner Rachel Redman recorded an open verdict.
A statement issued by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust stressed that the ward is an open ward and that Mr Summers had not been considered high risk.
Spokesman Nick Loe-Startup said: “All patients are assessed and when appropriate patients are encouraged to leave the ward as part of their therapeutic day.
“Peter had been assessed and was not considered at high risk of absconding. Those patients at highest risk of absconding or self-harm are placed on higher levels of observation.
“We are always saddened to hear of the death of one of our patients and the Trust would like to offer its sincere condolences to the family.
“The Trust will now look at what lessons it may be able to learn from Peter’s care.”
The Trust said it had carried out an internal investigation.