A care home manager was found dead after he had been struggling with his new role at work, an inquest has heard.

Jason Burridge, 51, was found on July 18 near Grove Lane in Padiham.

He had been promoted to a managerial role at Aykroyd Lodge care home in Reedley earlier in the year and the inquest at Accrington Town Hall heard he was “highly thought-of” by senior members of staff at the care provider.

Aykroyd Lodge provides care for adults with learning disabilities and complex care needs. 

Victoria Norris, operations manager for the provider and Jason’s line manager, said she was approached by Jason around January or February earlier this year when he expressed concerns about the paperwork element of the job and was considering stepping down.

Ms Norris held regular welfare checks with Jason to see how we was getting on and it was agreed that the previous manager would return for two days a week to assist Jason with the paperwork.

At the end of April Jason said the situation had improved but he still felt like he wanted to step down, but agreed to remain in post while an alternative manager was found.

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An unexplained incident happened at the care home while Jason was not on shift but, due to his position as manager and his dedication to the role, he shouldered a lot of the blame.

Following this he sought help from his GP and mental health services such as Talking Therapies and Minds Matter.

Daniel Greenlees, team leader for the community mental health team at Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, said Jason had reported feeling in a low mood since January.

He added Jason had denied suicidal ideation and on second contact, it was agreed that Jason could keep himself safe.

Concerns were raised about the waiting times for the service and it was said at the time of the investigation following Jason’s death the waiting time would have been 17 weeks.

Ms Norris added that no known issues were passed on about Jason when she joined the service in November 2022 and that he was a “lovely gentleman” who she “enjoyed working with.”

She also said agency staff were on hand to help reduce workloads but Jason preferred to cover shifts himself, and additional resources such as the part-time return of the previous manager were offered to him.

Ms Norris said: “I put in everything I could to support Jason.”

Jason, who was born in Burnley and last lived on Station Road in Padiham, was taken to Royal Preston Hospital after he was found.

An external examination was undertaken by Dr Mark Sissons who provided the coroner with a medical cause of death of hanging.

This was recorded by Coroner Richard Taylor, who said: “The conclusion I will return is one of suicide. I will thus say Jason Paul Burridge died on July 18, 2023, near Grove Lane, Padiham.”

If you're struggling with your mental health or are in crisis, you can call Samaritans free of charge on 116 123 - they're available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.