Hospital agrees outofcourt settlement after Lincoln woman’s suicide

  • Posted

Posted 27/05/2014

Sharon Allison 1397332402_SharonAllison2014CPX.jpg

Hospital agrees out-of-court settlement after Lincolnwoman’s suicide:

A hospital has agreed to pay five figure damages after allegations that they didn’t recognize a Lincoln woman’s mental illness and allowed her to take her own life. Patricia Self, aged 61, committed suicide in January 2011. She had first visited her GP in October 2010 complaining of poor concentration, sleep problems and of crying all the time.

The GP diagnosed a depressive disorder and prescribed an anti-depressant. He also arranged for her to visit the Archway Centre in Lincoln. But at the appointment a nurse identified no mental health problems and instead referred Mrs Self to the Citizens Advice Bureau. With the agreement of her GP, Mrs Self continued on the drugs, until in January 2011 she was taken to the GP by her daughter. He noted she was severely depressed and suicidal and referred her to the mental health crisis team.

A nurse confirmed symptoms of low esteem and hopelessness and she was admitted to the Haven respite centrefor a week, though she claimed on her release that she felt no better. Later that month Mrs Self was collected from her mother’s by her husband Michaeland a friend, but during the drive home she tried to jump from the moving car. The crisis team was summoned and a mental health worker visited her when they arrived home, but after ten minutes he left.

After the meeting Mrs Self was distressed because she had apparently been told she couldn’t take anti-depressants over a long term. While her husband was out of the room she fled from the house and ran to a nearby by-pass where she walked into the path of oncoming traffic. She was struck by several vehicles and was fatally injured.

Mr Self’s lawyer is Sharon Allison of Ashtons Legal, who specialises in cases involving mental health provision and/or inquest representation.

“There were several grounds for the claim against the hospital,” Sharon Allison explains. “The original assessment at the Archway Centre failed to identify that she had mental health problems, even though the nurse agreed she had anxiety and moderate depression. Then the Haven team failed to assess properly the risk she posed to herself before dismissing her. And the crisis team member who visited her should have made immediate arrangements for her admission to hospital. We have expert evidence that, with proper treatment, Mrs Self could have expected to make a full recovery. Instead, her family is left to grieve for a wife and mother and has to live with the awful realization that this tragedy could have been avoided.”


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