September 26th, 2016

Hospital failings led to death

Updated: 5:04 pm, May 07, 2015

HOSPITAL failings at the Bruce Burns Mental Health Unit at Solihull Hospital contributed to the death of a Shirley man – an inquest heard.

Lee Wright was under the care of the unit and was receiving treatment for depression when he died on the morning of July 4, 2010.

Lee was a singer in his spare time and won the New Faces award in 1977 and a Midlands Talent contest in 1988.

In the years leading up to his death his business struggled because of the recession and he had declared himself bankrupt in March 2010.

The 59-year-old’s death came two days after being admitted to the unit when he managed to get onto the roof of the hospital.

Lee’s wife of ten years, Elaine, instructed medical negligence law experts to represent her at the inquest held at the Birmingham Coroner’s Court before the Area Coroner Zafar Siddique.

The jury unanimously came to the conclusion of accidental death contributed to by neglect.

Mr Siddique did not feel the need to write a report as changes to policies at the hospital had already been made.

Speaking after the Court’s conclusion Elaine said she was pleased the Bruce Burns Unit had changed its policies and procedures following Lee’s death, but claimed this was ‘too little, too late.’

She added: “I took Lee to hospital on July 2 because I thought he would be in a safe place and be looked after.

“I have always believed that his death was an accident and was caused by failings at the hospital.

“The jury’s conclusion of accidental death contributed to by neglect confirms what I have always known.”

Access Legal medical negligence expert Natasha Read told The Observer this was the correct outcome in the circumstances and with the evidence that was put forward.

She added: “This is a very tragic case where a vulnerable person was exposed to danger in a place where he sought protection and treatment.”

A spokesperson from Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said it had learned lessons following Lee’s death and put new policies into action following a review of the accident.

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