patient gets £400,000 compensation after failed suicide bid
by Chris George
psychiatric patient who failed in a suicide attempt has been awarded
High Court judge said
the patient had experienced "undue suffering" after being
insufficiently monitored by the staff in the hospital where he was
Patient Noel Davison, 48, had attempted
suicide by jumping in front of a train at Highgate Tube station.
He survived with a serious head wound and pelvic fractures.
Mr Justice David Steel told the
court that Mr Davison had "suffered undue pain, suffering and
loss of amenity” as a result of being let down by the mental
health team at Whittington Hospital, run by Camden
and Islington Foundation Trust.
The trust refused
to admit liability. But the NHS Litigation Authority agreed to pay
the patient £400,000 in compensation.
Mr Davison was admitted to Whittington
Hospital in north London on
January 2, 2004, and was assessed and kept on a ward. He later discharged
himself, but returned six days later before walking out again on
Mr Davison was known to have suicidal
thoughts and his lawyers claimed he should have been more strictly
lawyers alleged negligence by staff in failing to take 'sufficient
steps' to ensure that Mr Davison remained at the unit, or returned
there following his second walk-out. It was also claimed they failed
to properly assess his mental state.
Opinion appears to be divided over
Stevens, from the charity Camden Mental Health Consortium, fears
psychiatric wards could become more oppressive as a result of patients
being "treated more restrictively".
Peter Jones, chairman of Islington Borough Users Group Mental Health,
said: “I am very pleased the High Court is taking this issue
seriously. NHS trust and accident and emergency staff need to look
at this and consider their own responsibilities.”
trust said it was satisfied that the settlement had been approved.
Marjorie Wallace of the charity SANE told the Daily Mail: "We
hope this will make psychiatric units much more careful in protecting
the lives of their patients. It is not unusual for this to happen.
walk out of wards, sometimes due to a under staffing, sometimes
due to a culture of not wanting to interfere with a person's liberty,
and quite often it is down to not enough care in preventing people
from leaving when they are disturbed or depressed and failing to
carefully assess the risks they pose to themselves."
can bring loved one back
Ray Hancock, service user, Cornwall, UK
July 10, 2009
What is £400,000 for extra pain? When you go into hospital,
it is often the last resort. You wouldn't want to go into such a
place unless you are really unwell.
have been in just such a place and have self harmed whilst there.
I have had major overdoses whilst in the care of a hospital.
that is nothing to what my daughter suffered. She had a number of
attempts on her life for two weeks before they put her on a section
consultatant said she needed to be on constant watch. Well, Friday
afternoon came a day later and the ward manager decided because
they were short of staff, she needed just five mins observations.
Four hours later she suffocated herself (within 5 minutes). The
ward manager says she was fine, but if someone is determined to
take their life, then there isn't a lot you can do.
was two years five months ago. No compensation can ever bring back
your loved one and you have to bear the extra pain along with your
hope her husband can get a massive compensation payout, for we will
set up a crisis centre, where people in crisis will not be left
alone to die.
I was the driver - and got just £1,000
From: Alistair Reay, tube driver, London, UK
Date: January 28, 2011
I'll tell you, the driver didn't feel to good about it when it happened, caused him a lot of distress at the time of the incident and all he got was £1,000 for the trouble that he suffered. How do I know this? I was that driver.
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