Friday, January 11, 2013

0 Health trust criticised after patient jumped to his death

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A coroner is writing to health chiefs recommending they review procedures following the "unsafe" discharge of a mental health patient who jumped to his death 11 days after leaving hospital.

Coroner Lydia Brown is to write to the chief executives of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and Norton House after 24-year-old Kieran Hurst killed himself.

Mrs Brown revealed her intention on the final day of the inquest into the death of Mr Hurst, who died from brain injuries after jumping from a footbridge on to Braunstone Way, Braunstone Town.

The four-day hearing at Leicester Town Hall was told Mr Hurst was evicted from his sheltered housing accommodation, run by Norton House, before he was discharged from the trust's Bradgate Unit, at Glenfield Hospital.

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Mrs Brown criticised the medical team on the Beaumont ward at the Bradgate Unit, saying she considered Mr Hurst's discharge to be "unsafe".

She also hit out at the system which saw Mr Hurst evicted, which meant that when he was discharged on September 14, 2011 he had no option but to live with his parents, even when the medical teams knew it was not in his best interests.

The hearing was told Mr Hurst stormed out of his parents' home after a trivial row with his father over a vacuum cleaner on September 25 .

Mr Hurst, who had been diagnosed as bipolar and a paranoid schizophrenic, walked to the nearby footbridge over the A563 and jumped to his death.

Mrs Brown, who recorded a narrative verdict, said: "Kieran took his own life as an impulsive act with no evidence he had considered the implications of this action at the time."

After the hearing, Mr Hurst's parents Raymond and Donna, of Braunstone Town, said they were heartbroken at the loss of their son.

Mrs Hurst, 46, said: "They let Kieran down and robbed this family of a lovely son.

"Kieran will never be bringing grandchildren to see us."

Mr Hurst, 47, said: "We are considering taking legal advice to take this matter further."

After the hearing, John Short, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust chief executive, said: "Although Kieran was medically well enough to be discharged in September 2011, we take very seriously the coroner's findings that more should have been done to ensure that when he was discharged appropriate accommodation was in place.

"The coroner is formally writing to us to set out exactly what she expects in terms of improvement to our procedures.

"While improvements have been made since September 2011, we will ensure we promptly take necessary actions to fully address the coroner's concerns."

Mr Hurst's hearing is one of seven inquests into the death of people with mental health issues who died while in the care of the Leicestershire Partnership Trust.

The five women and two men, aged between 19 and 55, died between November 2010 and June last year.


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