GMWS Comments On Recent Inquest Into Suicide

The GMWS has issued a statement regarding the recent inquest relating to the 35 year old man who took his life in 2019.

A statement from GMWS follows below:

The GMWS has followed closely the recent inquest relating to the 35year old man who took his life in 2019. Although the GMWS cannot comment on the judge's ruling that there was no negligence in the man's treatment by the health service, it considers that the inquest raises questions as to some of the crucial decisions which were made by professionals from the time of the man's earlier suicide attempt, which saw him admitted to St Bernard's for a period of two weeks, and the final tragic outcome. 

The man's parents have stated that their own assessment of their son's state of mind was not taken into consideration when he was discharged after his first admission, and then again on a later occasion.  The man had been told that he would be admitted to Ocean Views and then this did not come to pass, even though the parents felt that this is what needed to happen. This reluctance on the part of some professionals to take the caregivers' opinions seriously is a concern that many relatives of service users share. 

Earlier this year there was another case of suicide where the relative also stated that they had persistently asked for the service user not to be discharged after a suicide attempt, were ignored and the patient sent home, only to take his life the following day.

Although we are all aware of the legal rights which must come into play to protect the service user, we are equally aware that caregivers are usually in the best position to assess a service user's state of mind and the level of care that the individual needs. It is crucial to try to get this balance right even though it might be very difficult. 

The least that should take place when such a tragic event occurs is for all those who were involved in the case to review each of the steps taken in the care of the service user, evaluate their actions and learn from what has happened.