Medical Negligence

Lack of care resulting in successful suicide attempt - family wins compensation claim

October 10, 2017

On 10 October 2017 it was World Mental Health Day.   The family of Alison Draper who took her own life on 9 September 2014 whilst under the care of Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership is keen to highlight her case to raise more awareness of these issues and to tell Alison’s story.   At the time Alison was a voluntary in-patient being cared for on the Juniper Ward in the grounds of Weston General Hospital.

Alison had a long history of mental health problems.  She had attempted suicide on 8 occasions within the 28 days leading up to her care on Juniper Ward.  She was considered to be at high risk of suicide and was placed on 10 minute observations.  On 9 September 2014 Alison was observed at 6.50 pm, but could not be found on the next check at 7 pm.  Despite this, the alarm was not immediately raised and a detailed search was not immediately undertaken.  Alison was not found until 15 minutes later, some 25 minutes from her last observations, by which time it was too late to save her.

At her Inquest presided over by Maria Voisin, Senior Coroner for the Area of Avon, it was found that there was no policy in place if a patient could not be found within the 10 minute observation period and she gave a narrative verdict.  After a long battle where Alison’s family were represented by us here at Metcalfes Solicitors LLP, they were finally awarded compensation though no formal admission of liability was made.  Alison’s family believe that had she been found by 7 pm or shortly thereafter her life could have been saved.   They now hope that measures have been put in place to prevent further deaths from occurring.

Here at Metcalfes we have an experienced team dealing in medical negligence cases and who can help guide you through whether you do have a claim, whatever the circumstances, and who are sympathic and understanding.

Please contact us on 0117 239 8012.  Alternatively, you can email us by using our online contact form and we will be happy to discuss your potential claim with you.

Further Reading:-

World Mental Health Day October 2017


Website content note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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Lack of care resulting in successful suicide attempt - family wins compensation claim

Gillian Clark

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