Sent to his death - by TWO hospitals

A MENTALLY-ILL man killed himself... just hours after he was sent home by doctors and specialist nurses from TWO hospitals, an inquest has been told.

Mexborough man Trevor Metcalf, 49 had:

Downed a bottle of pills

Tried to jump out of a window and

Even attempted to throw himself from a moving car, over a two-day period

His horrified family first took him to Rotherham General Hospital and then to Doncaster Royal Infirmary the following day, but each time medics sent him back for "home treatment."

Mr Metcalf's partner, Christine Jeeves, claimed at an inquest in Rotherham that her partner would still be alive today if he had been kept in either hospital.

She said: "If only they had kept him at hospital and given him medication from the start at Rotherham or Doncaster.

"I am disgusted at the way he was treated. He would be here now if he had been treated.

"I have lost my love and best friend after 27 years together."

The inquest heard that handyman Mr Metcalf had a history of mental health issues.

On August 24 last year, he took an overdose of 40 herbal stress-relief tablets and was taken by relatives to Rotherham General Hospital.

He was allegedly promised a visit from a mental health specialist. But only a general doctor saw him, and he was sent home with advice to see his GP.

Mr Metcalf then went to stay the night with his aunt in Wath. The

following morning, he tried to jump from her first floor window and also started toying with knives to "protect himself", the hearing was told.

His aunt called the Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber mental health crisis line, but was told no-one could visit until 1.30pm.

So the family got into a car and drove him to Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

But during the journey, Mr Metcalf tried to get out of the car door to throw himself onto the road, the inquest heard.

The car pulled into Mexborough Montagu Hospital and he was taken by ambulance the rest of the way to DRI.

He was seen by psychiatric nurse Kerry Docherty at Doncaster, who was told about his actions that day and previous history of mental health problems – but not about the overdose.

During the consultation, Ms Docherty said Mr Metcalf denied having thoughts of self harm.

She added that she believed he would best be treated at home and he was given medication to help ease his restlessness.

But during the car ride home back to Mexborough, Mr Metcalf told concerned relatives that he wanted a pill to end his life.

He was visited later that day at his Elm Road home by two members of the crisis team, who spoke with him and administered medication.

They left after he did not show any signs of having suicidal thoughts.

However he continued to be restless that night and, with his behaviour becoming more worrying, Mrs Jeeves ran to The Highwoods pub to get help.

She also phoned his best friend who went to the house. He found him hanged from a stair banister, with a belt around his neck.

He was rushed to Rotherham General Hospital, but paramedics could not resuscitate him and he was declared dead on arrival, just after 2am on Tuesday, August 26.

At the inquest it emerged that he had been treated for mental health problems four years earlier, but that successful treatment had allowed him to lead a normal life for the past two years.

The hearing was also told that Mr Metcalf had been involved in a road traffic accident in Sheffield about a fortnight before his death, which had triggered his mental relapse.

Dr Joseph Kinane, a psychologist with the crisis team at Doncaster which dealt with his care, defended the actions of his colleagues.

He said: "There are no tick boxes in this kind of assessment and it is a matter of judgement. There is an assumption that hospital care is better than home care, but that is not necessarily the case.

"People can be unsafe in hospital and Mr Metcalf did previously abscond from hospital. The staff were working with the information that they were given at that time."

Deputy Rotherham Coroner Fred Curtis recorded a narrative verdict, and told relatives: "Trevor Metcalf killed himself.

"At the time he was mentally ill, and it is likely that he did not fully appreciate the consequences of his actions."