Family and Norfolk coroner raise concerns about surgery after father’s suicide
- Credit: Archant
A grieving family believes it has been failed by a village medical practice after a caring father and 'Jack the lad' killed himself following a battle with depression and alcohol.
Father-of-two Darren Arnoup, 48, from All Saints Way, Mundesley, was found hanging in his garage by police at 8.40pm on October 27 last year.
He had attempted to kill himself three times in 2013.
Mundesley Medical Centre and the North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has received an order from the coroner calling on them to take action to prevent future deaths.
The Regulation 28/29 Report was issued after concerns were raised about Mr Arnoup's suicidal thoughts and self-harming, which were not read by his now-retired GP, Dr John Harris-Hall.
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An inquest at Norwich on April 30 heard that a report and letter sent last year from the Colman Centre, Unthank Road, Norwich, where Mr Arnoup was being treated, were marked as 'for information only' for Dr Harris-Hall.
Assistant Norfolk coroner David Osborne sent the report after the hearing and the surgery and CCG has until June 26 to respond.
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In the report he said: 'In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken.
'I am concerned that there is a continuing risk that letters containing information about a concern for the suicide risk or self-harming behaviour of a patient will not be noted.'
While it was unclear whether Mr Arnoup's death might have been prevented if the GP had seen the letter, the assistant coroner said he could 'readily envisage situations where it could.'
He said the system used by GP practices with regard to how doctors were made aware of concerns about suicide risks and self-harming should be reviewed.
North Norfolk MP and health minister, Norman Lamb, said: 'The loss of life is utterly tragic. It is critical lessons are learned from this.'
He believed there was a big gap between support for people with physical health compared to mental health.
'The brutal truth is, a life can be lost if action is not taken with someone who has mental health problems,' Mr Lamb added.
The MP wanted better integrated care within the NHS to avoid communication failures.
Mr Arnoup left behind a sister, Gina Wainwright, 50, from Thorpe Marriott, and mother Jennifer Arnoup from North Walsham.
For support about suicide issues call the Samaritans on 0845 790 9090 or visit www.samaritans.org