‘Harsh’ ac­tion of hospi­tal staff blamed

Herald Express - - News -

THE fam­ily of a man who took his own life at a house in New­ton Ab­bot say they hope lessons can be learned from his death af­ter what they de­scribe as “harsh” treat­ment at the hands of health­care staff.

John Hall, who was an 87-year-old re­tired en­gi­neer, jumped from a first floor win­dow and died of mul­ti­ple in­juries. An in­quest in Torquay was told his fam­ily felt his death was “pre­ventable”.

One fam­ily mem­ber said: “We don’t be­lieve he had the full sup­port of the sys­tem.

“I don’t be­lieve that the psy­chi­atric team at Tor­bay Hospi­tal as­sessed the sit­u­a­tion cor­rectly and did not pre­scribe the cor­rect level of care. The cri­sis team were not dili­gent enough in their as­sess­ment of his con­di­tion. We feel that he could have been iden­ti­fied as be­ing a lit­tle bit more at risk than he was. If there was an­other sit­u­a­tion like this, we hope it could be han­dled dif­fer­ently.”

Tor­bay and South Devon Coro­ner Ian Ar­row, who recorded the fact that Mr Hall had taken his own life, agreed to share the fam­ily’s con­cerns with health­care providers the Devon Part­ner­ship Trust.

The in­quest heard that Mr Hall died on May 21. He had been treated for de­pres­sion fol­low­ing his wife’s death but was oth­er­wise a healthy man.

De­tec­tive Sergeant Andy Turner told the hear­ing: “Mr Hall was an in­di­vid­ual who had been suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion for a con­sid­er­able amount of time af­ter the loss of his wife. There had been a num­ber of times when he had con­sid­ered sui­cide.”

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