Men­tal health plea af­ter death of fa­ther-of-two


THE FAM­ILY of a fa­ther-oftwo who took his own life af­ter “missed op­por­tu­ni­ties” by an NHS trust to give him the help he needed have de­manded im­prove­ments to men­tal health ser­vices.

Martin Bur­nett, of Brad­ford, died in Novem­ber 2015 af­ter strug­gling for four years to come to terms with the sud­den death of his wife Delith from an epilep­tic fit.

Brad­ford Dis­trict Care NHS Foun­da­tion Trust ad­mit­ted to fail­ings in his care in the months af­ter Mr Bur­nett was re­ferred for men­tal health sup­port in July that year af­ter suf­fer­ing from low mood and sleep prob­lems.

His par­ents Agnes and Roy took le­gal ac­tion to find out if more should have been done to help Mr Bur­nett, 40, af­ter he was re­ferred to the Adult Men­tal Health Ser­vices First Re­sponse Team.

Law firm Ir­win Mitchell, rep­re­sent­ing the fam­ily, said Mr Bur­nett, who is sur­vived by chil­dren Macken­zie, 15, and Dar­cie, 11, should have been given im­me­di­ate sup­port af­ter he and his fam­ily sought help.

Mr Bur­nett was found dead at his home by his par­ents on Novem­ber 22 af­ter he had hanged him­self. Agnes Bur­nett, 63, of Clay­ton, Brad­ford, who now cares for the chil­dren with Roy, said: “It is nearly three years since Martin died and the whole fam­ily re­mains com­pletely and ut­terly dev­as­tated by his loss. In many ways his death has been made harder by the fact that we now know that more could and should have been done to help him.

“While noth­ing will bring him back, we hope that his story will lead to im­prove­ments in care.”

Ir­win Mitchell said Mr Bur­nett should have been given im­me­di­ate sup­port in­stead of be­ing re­ferred for group coun­selling.

Sui­ci­dal in­ten­tion had not been spot­ting dur­ing a tele­phone as­sess­ment in Septem­ber 2015.

A con­sul­tant psy­chi­a­trist who ex­am­ined the case said that had Mr Bur­nett been re­ferred for a face-to-face re­view he would have re­ceived im­me­di­ate help, ei­ther at home or as an in­pa­tient.

Ir­win Mitchell lawyer Lau­ren Bul­lock said: “This is an un­bear­ably tragic story where a fam­ily has had to en­dure a dev­as­tat­ing se­quence of events.”

A spokesper­son for Brad­ford Dis­trict Care NHS Foun­da­tion Trust said: “We would like to of­fer our sin­cere con­do­lences to the fam­ily fol­low­ing this tragic in­ci­dent. Fol­low­ing the sad death of Martin, we un­der­took a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion to iden­tify learn­ing from this in­ci­dent and we have made im­prove­ments to the ser­vice in­volved.”

Tom Cruise at­tend­ing the Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble Fall­out pre­miere at the BFI Imax, Water­loo, Lon­don. It is the sixth in­stall­ment in the Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble film se­ries. The film re­ceived ac­claim from crit­ics, who praised cin­e­matog­ra­phy, story, and cast.

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