Suicide risk assessment '˜not carried out' on depressed man, inquest hears

A coroner has heard a nurse was not aware of a suicide risk assessment - during the inquest of a depressed man who was found dead after going missing from the Royal Derby Hospital.

Monday, 27th June 2016, 2:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 9:01 pm

Ricky Hill, of Somercotes, was admitted to the hospital on the evening of September 22, 2014, after he took 48 paracetamol tablets.

The 30-year-old went missing the following day and was found hanging from a tree near Balmoral Close in the city on January 10, 2015.

He was depressed after a split from his wife and had previously tried to commit suicide, Derby coroners’ court heard.

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During the third day of the inquest on Monday, A&E staff nurse Geoman Manuel - who dealt with Mr Hill when he was first admitted - told coroner Dr Robert Hunter he was not aware of the SAD PERSONS scale, which helps determine a person’s suicide risk.

Dr Hunter said: “Had this been used in A&E, Mr Hill would have come up eight out of ten - high risk.

“He would have been placed on level three observation.”

Mr Manuel said the ward was busy - but Dr Hunter told the court the SAD PERSONS risk assessment would have taken ‘30 to 40 seconds’.

Mr Manuel added: “At the next stage, Mr Hill would have been assessed by my colleagues in more detail.”

Neil Lister, a liaison nurse specialist with Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust based at the Royal, said Mr Hill could not immediately receive psychiatric treatment as he was under medical treatment following the overdose.

He was, however, seen the following morning.

At the start of the inquest last Thursday, Mr Hill’s wife Dawn Hill, of Welbeck Close, Somercotes, said the couple separated just seven weeks before he was admitted to the Royal after taking the overdose.

She said following their temporary split he started taking drugs and drinking heavily as he was depressed.

Mrs Hill described her late husband as ‘a very loving and caring family man’.

The inquest - which is expected to last a total of seven days - continues.