Patient overdosed on medicine whilst under care of psychiatric unit

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Abdelslam Benelghazi, 27, was first sectioned by the Avon and Wiltshire Health Partnership (AWP) in September 2017 after a long history of drugs, self-harm and a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.

After being discharged from the Juniper Ward, Mr Benelghazi was sent to a homeless hostel which was full of heavy drug users.

Mr Benelghazi was on a number of strong medications prescribed by the Trust, which according to his brother, Samir, made him slur his words and “act like a zombie.”

On December 7th, Mr Benelghazi was readmitted to the Juniper Ward by the AWP NHS Trust, however just two days later on December 9th he collapsed as a result of an overdose of medication. Despite paramedic’s efforts to help him, unfortunately Mr Benelghazi died the same day.

A post-mortem examination determined that the combination of methadone, zuclopenthixol, clonazepam and gabapentin caused a level of toxicity which led to Mr Benelghazi’s death.

Michele Benjamin, a specialist clinical negligence lawyer at Ashtons Legal comments: “This unfortunately is another example of a patient being failed by an NHS Trust when presenting with acute mental health issues. We are seeing increasing numbers of these cases and it is an ongoing concern that people are continued to be let down by a system which clearly needs changes to be put into place.”

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