Chesterfield man's death was 'drug related', coroner concludes

Andrew Millward passed away last year.
Andrew Millward passed away last year.

The death of a Chesterfield man who had a long history of mental health issues was 'drug related', a coroner concluded.

Andrew David Millward, 41, of Arundel Close, Chesterfield, was found dead at his home on October 17, 2017, with a 'high level' of amphetamine in his system.

Mr Millward had a long history of mental health issues and drug and alcohol misuse.

He had been due to be visited that day by mental health professionals following a referral.

At an inquest into his death at Chesterfield Coroners' Court on Friday, coroner Peter Nieto, concluded: "On the evidence I have heard my conclusion is a drug related death."

The court heard that unemployed Mr Millward had difficulties with his mental and physical health, in particular managing his insulin for his diabetes and suffering from depressive and psychotic episodes.

Mr Millward's GP, Dr Robert Barron, visited him at his home address on October 16, 2017, after concerns were raised by his social housing provider about his psychotic episodes.

Dr Barron carried out observations and noted that Mr Millward had fears about being 'watched, monitored and electrocuted'.

"In many ways it was textbook paranoia," Dr Barron told the court.

Dr Barron added that he did not think Mr Millward was in any immediate risk of causing self harm, but he did make a referral to the mental health crisis team for a home visit.

The request was made to the crisis team the same day, October 16, but they decided the assessment could be carried out the next morning as Mr Millward was not deemed to be at immediate risk.

They also thought it would make sense for Dr Rashid Akhtar, a psychiatrist at the Hartington Unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, to attend because he had met Mr Millward before and that Mr Millward had been 'aggressive' towards staff previously.

When the visit was made the following day Mr Millward was sadly found dead inside his home.

Dr Barron told the court that he was 'surprised' when he found out the assessment had not been carried out the same day, but that was only because he had assumed it would and not down to anything else. He added that in hindsight he could see both sides to the argument and understood the reasoning behind the decision.

Philip Parkin, a mental health professional with the crisis team, who made the joint decision with Dr Akhtar to carry out the assessment the next day, said: "There was nothing that was passed over which would indicate a risk of self harm. I would still possibly do the same thing on reflection."

And Dr Akhtar, said: "In my opinion it was a reasonable decision to go the following day."

A post-mortem examination concluded Mr Millward died as a result of amphetamine misuse and bronchopneumonia

Mr Nieto concluded Mr Millward's death was drug related, alongside mental health issues and bronchopneumonia, adding that there was no connection between the actions of the mental health professions and his death.