Mental health trust admits errors in care of Norfolk man found dead at home on Christmas Eve

PUBLISHED: 19:22 20 December 2017 | UPDATED: 19:46 20 December 2017

Norfolk Coroner's Court, where the inquest into the death of Gary Morris has been taking place. Photo by Simon Finlay

Norfolk Coroner's Court, where the inquest into the death of Gary Morris has been taking place. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant Norfolk Copyright

A mental health trust has conceded that it made errors in the care of a man who found dead in his home on Christmas Eve.

An inquest in Norwich yesterday heard how the body of Garry Morris was found by his wife Gail in the bedroom of the family home in Watlington on the afternoon of December 24, 2016. He had suffocated.

Paramedics were called, but the 54-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

The former security services manager at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn had previously attempted to end his life three times and had been in care of both the community mental health and crisis resolution teams of the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust.

Giving evidence at Norfolk Coroner’s Court, Ian Young, associate director of operations at NSFT, said the trust’s own investigation into Mr Morris’ death had identified a ‘number of problems’ in the care he had received.

Amongst these were issues with medical records, communications with family members, the handling of medication, and staffing and assessments made under the Mental Health Act.

Debbie White, director of operations in Norfolk for NSFT: “We have met with Mr Morris’ family to offer our deepest sympathies for their loss and to listen to their concerns.

“We have undertaken a full investigation into the care provided to Mr Morris and we have identified a number of ways to protect and safeguard service users.

“This learning is being, and will continue to be, implemented swiftly with direct oversight from our board to ensure effective embedding of new ways of working.”

Jacqueline Lake, senior coroner for Norfolk, came to the conclusion of suicide with the medical cause of death as asphyxiation by suffocation, adding that it was clear Mr Morris had intended to end his own life.

Concluding the inquest, she said: “There have clearly been a lot of concerns at this inquest raised on actions by the trust. There have been investigations and I am of the view that they have been thorough.”

The Samaritans are available to talk by calling 116 123.

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