The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition)
Sheriff: Plan to keep man alive was ‘possible’
A pensioner found dead hours after he left a psychiatric facility may have lived if nurses told doctors about his suicidal thoughts, a sheriff has concluded.
Mountain Rescue teams found William Clark, 66, at Kinnoull Hill in Perth on July 24, 2016, a Fatal Accident Inquiry heard.
Sheriff Keith O’Mahony heard how Mr Clark had been a patient at the Murray Royal Hospital in Perth.
He had been admitted there in May 2016 after becoming unwell. He told a consultant psychiatrist he did not wish to “wake up” but had no plans to take his life.
On July 22, 2016, Mr Clark asked a nurse for a gun and made a gesture as if he was going to shoot himself.
The inquiry heard that the following day, staff thought Mr Clark presented to them as he usually did. However, he walked out of the hospital and later died at the hill.
Consultant psychiatrist Neil Prentice told Sheriff O’Mahony nursing staff should have told the duty doctor at the facility about Mr Clark’s gun comment.
He said this may have led to a doctor examining Mr Clark and devising a plan which may have kept him alive.
An NHS Tayside spokesperson said: “Our thoughts remain with the family and we will now take time to consider the sheriff’s determination.”