Man died after being granted leave from Chesterfield mental health unit, inquest hears

The death of a man who was granted leave from Chesterfield’s mental health unit ‘could not have been foreseen’, a coroner has ruled.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 11:58 am

Ian Walker, 56, died at his home on Blacksmiths Lane, Calow, on March 2 last year.

His inquest was held at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court this week.

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The Hartington Unit in Chesterfield.
The Hartington Unit in Chesterfield.

Tanyka Rawden, assistant coroner, said: “Mr Walker was detained under section two of the Mental Health Act 1983 during the early hours of February 28, 2020.

“Later that day he was granted leave from the ward (at the Hartington Unit) subject to a care plan that he returned to the ward on a daily basis

“Mr Walker returned to the ward on February 29, 2020, and March 1, 2020.

“When he did not attend the ward on March 2, 2020, Derbyshire police were alerted.

“Mr Walker was found deceased at his home address after ingesting alcohol along with a toxic amount of medication.

“It is likely that either the mixture of alcohol and medication affected his ability to make decisions about how much medication he ingested, or, knowing ward staff were trying to contact him, he expected to be located and treated.

“The decision to grant Mr Walker leave from the ward was made after two lengthy assessments and several hours of observation and, with the information available at the time, was reasonable.

“His death could not have been foreseen,” she added.

She concluded Mr Walker died as a result of misadventure.

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