Man killed himself after feeling ‘let down’ by hospital

LET DOWN Christopher Wilson
LET DOWN Christopher Wilson
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THE family of a man who took his own life say he was frustrated with the care he was receiving from a psychiatric hospital.

Christopher Wilson, of Ferry Road, Eastney, was killed instantly when he jumped in front of a train at Bedhampton railway station on August 25 last year.

At an inquest into his death his mother Christine Peddie told coroner David Horsley her son, who was 25, felt let down by the team at The Orchards, St James’ Hospital, Milton where he was treated as a voluntary patient for mental health problems.

Mrs Peddie, of Jersey Road, Fratton, said: ‘St James’s just kept discharging him. He was frustrated. They would take him in for a day or two or for a week at the most. When he was saying all these things about committing suicide they just discharged him. I think it’s really poor the way they dealt with him.’

In a statement Judy Hillier, director of nursing and quality at Solent NHS Trust, which runs St James’s Hospital, said: ‘In line with the coroner’s verdict we will be reviewing this case again to see if there are further lessons to be learned. We will continue to engage with Mr Wilson’s family throughout.’

He became a voluntary patient at The Orchards was when he was aged 22 and his obsessive compulsive disorder became very serious.

His last stay was around May 2012.

The inquest heard Mr Wilson had severe OCD and in the weeks before his death staff from The Orchards ward tried to contact him but he had ‘disengaged’ from them.

Callum Peddie, Mr Wilson’s step-dad said the staff tried hard to get Mr Wilson to take his medication and would visit him at home to make sure he was taking it. If they could not contact him they would contact his mother.

But, Mr Peddie added: ‘They should have listened to him a lot more in respect of medication and the times they used to let him out.

‘He used to say, “they’re only getting rid of me because someone else is coming and there’s no beds.’

Mr Peddie said Mr Wilson felt ‘safe’ at The Orchards and wanted to stay with people who had similar conditions to himself.

His OCD meant he would shower over and over again because he did not feel clean. He would buy expensive clothes, wear them once, and give them away. And he would shave himself until his face was red raw.

The inquest heard that for at least a year Mr Wilson had been expressing his desire to commit suicide at exactly the spot where he died. Mr Wilson’s brother Carl Gofton, 38, of Chichester Road, North End, said: ‘He saw it as a way to release his demons.

‘I would talk about it with him and explain the ripple effect it would have on everyone if he went ahead with it.’

A post-mortem examination found no trace of alcohol in his blood but an above average amount of the prescribed anti-psychotic drug olanzapine which Mr Horsley said would have affected his behaviour that day.

Despite his mental health problems Mr Wilson, who worked in a factory, managed to travel extensively to Europe and Africa.

Mrs Peddie added: ‘He was lovely. Sometimes he was very serious but most of the time he just liked to have a laugh. He was kind and would not deliberately hurt anyone. He was a very nice young man.’

Mr Horsley recorded a verdict that Mr Wilson took his own life whilst suffering from psychiatric illness and the effects of his medication.

Ms Hillier added: ‘On behalf of Solent NHS Trust, I would like to express condolences to the family and friends of Mr Wilson. We provided the coroner with information detailing the care we gave to Mr Wilson and the clinical decisions that were made at the time, and we are not able to discuss these outside of the coroner’s court.’