When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Burnley patient hanged himself at Royal Blackburn Hospital
A GRANDAD from Burnley was found hanged on a general ward at Royal Blackburn Hospital the night before he was due to be assessed by a mental health nurse, an inquest heard.
John Knowles, 59, of Brunshaw Avenue, was found in the bathroom by another patient. Hospital bosses said an investigation now will be carried out into his death.
But coroner Michael Singleton said he was not satisfied Mr Knowles’ health problems had been resolved.
Forklift truck driver Mr Knowles had been admitted to hospital on August 12 after collapsing at home, the inquest at Blackburn Coroner's Court was told.
He had suffered from periods of dizziness, confusion, clamminess and anxiety after being hit in the ear with a pallet in an accident at work in June last year.
During yesterday's inquest, his daughter Melanie Hargreaves, a nurse, quizzed staff who cared for her dad why he was not seen by a mental health nurse sooner, given his deteriorating condition.
Staff nurse Krysia Cooper said because Mr Knowles was not being discharged that night, the mental health nurse would see him the next day.
Staff at the hospital carried out scans and tests to find out the cause of Mr Knowles’ episodes, but they were all inconclusive.
By August 15, after he had spent three days on C4 ward, Mrs Hargreaves said her father 'did not seem himself'.
She said: “My dad said to me ‘nobody’s listening to me, nobody’s helping me’, but I told him he wasn’t the only person on the ward and the nurses were doing their best.
“The doctor and nurses were whispering about getting him checked over for mental health issues.
“They didn’t discuss it with me.
“At that point, I was more concerned about his physical health, not his mental health.”
On August 16, Mr Knowles’ condition had seriously deteriorated.
Mrs Hargreaves said: “He said he couldn’t cope. I didn’t understand, I said we were doing everything we could. He said to me ‘If you dont do something...’.”
At just before 11pm, Mr Knowles told another patient on the ward, Neil Myles, that he was going to kill himself.
Mr Myles said: “I told him not to be so silly and to go to the bathroom. Five minutes later, I saw the door handle rattling very quietly and I knew something wasn’t right. I went in and he just slipped down. He did what he said he would.”
Mr Myles shouted for a help and staff nurse Anne Marie Sheridan rushed to the bathroom. She performed CPR on Mr Knowles. He was moved to the intensive care unit but he died on August 23.
Recording a narrative verdict, East Lancashire coroner Michael Singleton said: “Mr Knowles had previous physical and mental conditions which he was in hospital for, which had not been resolved to my satisfaction.
“It seems to me that all of these events started back in June 2012, when a relatively insignificant event led to such a tragic conclusion.”
Rineke Schram, Medical Director at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We would like to express our sincere condolences to Mr Knowles’s family.
“All incidents are investigated and lessons learned are implemented and communicated to staff. Following the completion of the coronial process, Mr Knowles’s investigation will follow the Trust’s guidelines and outcomes will be shared with his family.”
Comments are closed on this article.