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Neglect contributed to man's death

Inquest hears of DHSC failures

Coroner of inquest Jayne Hughes says neglect at a Department of Health and Social Care unit was a contributing factor in a man’s suicide.

In a written verdict, she said William Walker – a 35 year old builder from Onchan – had been failed by staff at Grianagh Court where he was being treated for mental health issues.

The hearing was told he’d hanged himself in a room at the facility and later died at Noble’s Hospital.

Mrs Hughes said observation procedures hadn’t been followed after Mr Walker threatened his own life.

Mr Hughes said Mr Walker should have been watched more carefully under observation rules – but staff missed items in his room that could have been used to harm himself.

She said since Mr Walker’s death improvements had been made, particularly after an enforcement notice was served on Grianagh Court by Health and Safety in January 2015.

She was told new purpose-built premises would soon replace the unit, and that extra staff training had already taken place.

She recorded a verdict of suicide and said a gross failure in basic care had contributed to his death.

Accepting the Coroner's verdict, the Department of Health and Social Care has offered its condolences to Mr Walker’s family and friends.

In a statement, the department says it undertook an immediate and comprehensive review of circumstances surrounding Mr Walker's death, and has implemented a number of measures in response. 

The department says it sought to fully assist the Coroner and has thanked witnesses for their cooperation.

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