Widow hopes lessons can be learned from man's death

QEH

Timothy Wood had been treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital before his death in March, 2020 - Credit: QEH

The widow of a 62-year-old man who took his  own life hopes lessons will be learned so others do not have to go through what she has experienced.

Timothy Wood, from Terrington, died after being found on Hunstanton beach on March 10, 2020. 

An inquest into his death on January 19 concluded he took his own life. Mr Wood had suffered mental health issues after his wife Isabella had a heart attack in October 2019.

A report into his case by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) found there was a “clinical disconnection” between it and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), in King's Lynn.

Mrs Wood said after the inquest: “I know he had mental health issues in the lead up to his death, but I genuinely believe that if he had received proper support he would still be here."

Mr Wood suffered abdominal pains. On February 24, he was taken to the QEH after an overdose. A mental health consultant believed his suicidal thoughts were linked directly to his abdominal pain.

On February 27, an NSFT psychiatrist told a clinician at the QEH that Mr Wood might attempt to end his life if he was discharged home. But he was discharged on February 28, with his pain unresolved 

Amie Minns from the law firm Irwin Mitchell, which has been representing Mrs Wood, said : “While nothing will bring Timothy back, Isabella hopes that lessons are learned, so that other families don’t have to suffer the pain she has.”

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A QEH spokesman said Mr Wood was discharged after a CT scan showed no cause for concern. He added: “Whilst the coroner concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that stronger communication between healthcare partners would have led to a different outcome in this tragic case, the trust continues its close working with partners to ensure joined-up care for our patients.”

Diane Hull, chief nurse at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our hearts go out to Mr Wood's family and we are keen to support them in any way we can.  We are working with partners across health, social care and the voluntary sector to do all that we can to avoid the loss of life from suicide.”

  • If you need help or support,  contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline on 0808 196 3494 both 24/7. 
  • Alternatively download the Stay Alive app, which is backed by Suffolk User Forum, if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else.