Family pays tribute to 'caring' Chesterfield dad who died by suicide

The family of a much-loved Chesterfield father who took his own life after being discharged from the town's Hartington Unit has described him as a 'caring' man who would 'do anything for anyone'.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 1:12 pm
Kevin Burton. Picture submitted by family.

Kevin Burton - who had a history of mental health issues and drug abuse - was found dead at a Chesterfield bed and breakfast on December 26, 2015, after overdosing on his prescribed medication and illegally-obtained substances.

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Chesterfield's Hartington Unit.

In a statement issued to the Derbyshire Times after the inquest, Mr Burton's family said: "Kevin was a caring father, husband and son, and a great brother and uncle who was unselfish and would do anything for anyone.

"As a family we welcome the findings of the coroner.

"The conclusion is accurate and shows there were options available which could have helped prevent this tragedy.

"This has been an emotional journey and we feel at long last the truth has come out.

Kevin Burton. Picture submitted by family.

"We feel there are lessons to be learned by those given the responsibility to care for and treat those who are suffering with mental health issues.

"Also in the aftermath of such tragedies we would ask the health service for greater transparency and honesty to allow those affected to get swifter closure - almost four years is far too long for grieving relatives to have to wait to receive adequate answers.

"We would like to take the opportunity to thank Reverend Julie Lomas, Sonia Friend and Dr Gary Robinson for their help and support, and last but not least our loyal family and friends who stuck by our sides throughout."

The family wanted to stress that Mr Burton left a letter of apology to Patrick Grogan, the owner of Applewood Accommodation on Spring Bank Road - where he sadly took his own life.

Kevin Burton. Picture submitted by family.

They also praiseed the Patient Advice and Liaison Service as well as Hope Springs Recovery Centre on Newbold Road, Chesterfield, for the important work they do and support they offer.

The family statement added: "Talking is important but people must also listen.

"Just because you have a smile on your face doesn't necessarily mean you are OK.

"Be kind and helpful."

Carolyn Green, director of nursing and patient experience for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We extend our condolences to the family of Kevin Burton at this very difficult time.

"We accept the inquest's findings that there could have been improvements in the way Mr Burton was discharged from our care, particularly given the time of year.

"We also accept that, although one of our trust team did see Mr Burton after his discharge from hospital, we could have done more to ascertain Mr Burton's whereabouts after he missed an appointment with a mental health support worker.

"From early 2016 we have sought to gain a second clinical opinion when there are plans to discharge a patient from an acute setting and concerns are raised by family members, particularly when a person is clinically fit for discharge but has wider vulnerabilities.

"The trust is committed to continue to learn and improve following the outcomes of this case."

Whoever you are, however you feel, whatever life has done to you, please remember that you are not alone and help is at hand. You can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or email them [email protected] The Samaritans are there all day, every day.