Man found dead in river af­ter leav­ing men­tal health ward

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - COMIC RELIEF -

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.

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