Neglect played part in death of man at hospital's mental health unit

The Ablett Unit at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd
The Ablett Unit at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd -Credit:Reach plc

Neglect played a part in the death of a man at a hospital, an inquest heard. Ben Harrison, 37, had been admitted to the Ablett mental health unit at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan but was found hanged there four days later.

He died three days later at the same hospital. A coroner at an inquest in Ruthin on Friday concluded that neglect by a health board was a contributory factor in his death, reports the BBC.

Mr Harrison, of Denbigh, was in the care of the Ablett mental health unit but was discovered in a lounge on December 15, 2020. A previous hearing was told that he was on a 15-minute observation regime - the highest possible level.

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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions it had been a challenging period for the unit, it also heard. But Friday's inquest at Ruthin Coroner's Court into Mr Harrison’s death heard about a series of "gross failures" in the care he received.

Coroner Kate Robertson pointed to a series of "missed opportunities" that led to Mr Harrison being able to harm himself, including a failure to ensure the ward was safe for mental health patients at risk of self-harm. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has apologised for the failures and said it would make improvements.

Health board investigating officer Sarah McGarrity told the inquest Mr Harrison’s care and treatment was "not to the standard expected". A statement from Mr Harrison’s family said the coroner’s findings "speak for themselves".

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