Inquest into death of 54-year-old father at Ealing Broadway Railway Station while under the care of West London Mental Health Trust to open
Venue: West London Coroner’s Court, 25 Bagley’s Lane, Fulham, London, SW6 2QA Date: 5-6 January 2017 at 10 am
A two-day inquest will begin on 5 January 2017, examining the circumstances surrounding the death of 54-year-old father of one, Peter Docherty, from Southall in West London.
Mr Docherty was found dead at Ealing Broadway Station on 7 January 2015. The inquest will examine the treatment he received at Ravenscourt Ward, part of an NHS mental health unit in Hammersmith, West London, in the days prior to his death. In particular, the coroner, Miss Ormonde-Walshe, will look at the risk assessment process in place at the time of his death.
Mr Docherty had been suffering from severe and enduring mental illness for many years and had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. In 2011, he began to see considerable improvement in his mental state. From then on, he continued to take medication to control his illness whilst living in supported accommodation. He had a good relationship with his mental health care coordinator and regularly attended the Solace Centre, an out of hours mental health resource centre.
In November 2014, Mr Docherty moved to his own independent flat in Southall. He was also informed of the imminent closure of the Solace Centre. Struggling to manage with the practical tasks required by his new living arrangements and distressed by the planned closure of the Solace Centre, Mr Docherty’s mental health deteriorated and at 7.10pm on 4 January 2015, he presented to the Urgent Care Centre at Ealing Hospital, reporting he was hearing voices and was considering jumping in front of a train. At 1am on 5 January 2015 he was transferred to Ravenscourt Ward.
Mr Docherty was assessed as a high-risk patient and admitted. On the morning of 6 January 2015, he said he was feeling better and was granted leave from the ward. He phoned his consultant to say he did not wish to return. His consultant returned his call but was unable to reach him so left a message. Mr Docherty did not respond so was deemed to be on leave that evening. He returned briefly to the ward in the evening but again stated he was feeling fine so it was agreed he would return for a review with the consultant in the morning.
He did not return the following day and was found dead at approximately 9.10am on 7 January 2015 having been struck by a train at Ealing Broadway Station.
Agata Usewicz, medical negligence lawyer at Hodge Jones & Allen is representing Mr Docherty’s family. She says: “Until a few months before his death Mr Docherty had been managing well. He was involved with his community, had a good relationship with his son and felt ready to live independently. His family are deeply saddened by his death and have considerable concerns about the care he received. We hope that the coroner’s investigation will review all the events leading up to Mr Docherty’s death and in particular, will give answers on why it was that in the space of just one day, he was deemed to have changed from being a high-risk patient to being safe to leave.”
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Notes for Editors
Hodge Jones and Allen
- Hodge Jones and Allen is one of the UK’s most progressive law firms, renowned for doing things differently and fighting injustice. Its senior partner is Patrick Allen and managing partner is Vidisha Joshi.
- For almost 40 years’ the firm has been at the centre of many of the UK’s landmark legal cases that have changed the lives and rights of many people.
- The firm’s team of specialists have been operating across: Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, Industrial Disease, Civil Liberties, Criminal Defence, Court of Protection, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Family Law, Military Claims, Serious Fraud, Social Housing, Wills & Probate and Property Disputes.
- In 2016 the firm launched Hearing their voices – a campaign to raise awareness and build conversations around the issues and the injustices we might all face.