Patient who hanged himself had gone missing from unit
A patient who was supposed to be escorted at all times while off a mental health ward walked out of hospital and hung himself in a park, an inquest heard yesterday.
Gagandip Singh Sandhu hung himself from a tree in Knighton Park, Leicester, after walking out of the Bradgate Unit, at Glenfield Hospital.
The hearing was told Mr Sandhu, 55, of Skelton Drive, Knighton, Leicester, went missing after he was taken to the day room by an agency nurse.
Coroner Catherine Mason told how the agency nurse had not been properly briefed about how to deal with Mr Sandhu, who was bi-polar and a suicide risk.
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Mrs Mason said the nurse might not have known that Mr Sandhu was supposed to be on escorted leave, which meant he should have been accompanied at all times while off the Bosworth ward.
She said there had been a breakdown in documentation and communication, and that it was not initially noticed that Mr Sandhu, a financial adviser, had gone missing.
He was found hanging from a blue nylon rope in his local park on November 18.
Mr Sandhu's daughter, Priya Sandhu, told the inquest how she had taken the heartbreaking decision in July to make the call which led to her father being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
She fought back the tears as she told how she felt she had to call for help after her father, who had a long history of mental illness, had attacked his 82-year-old father.
Ms Sandhu said she and the rest of her family travelled to India for a family celebration hoping her father would get the help and treatment he needed while they were away.
She said: "We thought we had left my father in safe hands. He was in state care.
"We had voiced our concerns that he should have particular care and supervision. We would not have gone otherwise."
She told how her father had turned up at the family home after he had been at the Bradgate Unit in July last year.
Ms Sandhu said: "My mum told me he had done it on numerous occasions."
Pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton said the cause of death was hanging.
He said there was no evidence of the involvement of third party or any other medical reason that might have contributed to Mr Sandhu's death.
The hearing continues today.
Mr Sandhu's inquest is the second into the cases of seven people with meNtal health issues who died while in the care of the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.
The five women and two men, who include Mr Sandhu, were aged between 19 and 55 and died in a 19-month period between November 2010 and June this year. In August, an inquest heard how 19-year-old Laura Dickins, who had a history of self-harming and suicidal behaviour, died at the Bradgate Unit on November 10, 2010, after taking an overdose of powerful heart drugs.
Coroner Donald Coutts-Woods was to write letters to the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and the University Hospital of Leicester Trust calling for reports on issues including how the trusts operate together.