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Patient died jumping from taxi

Post by Admin on Fri 4 Sep 2009 - 10:22

Patient died jumping from taxi

Published Date: 28 August 2009
By Richard Blackledge
A PATIENT died after jumping from a taxi and throwing himself under a lorry while being transferred between two hospitals, an inquest heard.

Michael Wells, aged 60, of Cherry Tree Walk, East Ardsley, Barnsley, was being escorted by a female nurse after undergoing a routine brain scan at Barnsley General Hospital in July last year.

Mr Wells, a voluntary psychiatric patient at the town's Kendray Hospital, jumped out of the taxi on the return journey and threw himself at a Ford Mondeo car before later hurling himself under a lorry on Huddersfield Road, Barnsley.

He had to have both legs amputated and died at Barnsley hospital 12 days after making his suicide attempt when one of the amputated legs became infected.

Mr Wells had originally been admitted to Barnsley following an earlier suicide attempt, in which he had stabbed himself, before being transferred for treatment on Kendray Hospital's Beamshaw ward.

Staff nurse Katrina Slater, who accompanied Mr Wells in the taxi, said: "Michael just opened the door and got out of the back."

Ms Slater grabbed his arm but he broke free and ran across a nearby car park before jumping over a fence.

She followed him and tried to shout to him but he looked back and shook his head before running away again.

PC Jarrod Barton, from South Yorkshire police's collision investigation branch, said the lorry hit Mr Wells at around 34mph and could not have avoided driving over him.

Donna Shaw, manager of the Beamshaw ward, said it was normal for patients to be escorted.

Mr Wells was a voluntary patient the idea of locking the doors had not been considered but she said it may be a "good idea" to consider locking them in future.

Dr Mohammed Malik, consultant psychiatrist at Kendray Hospital, who spoke to Mr Wells at Barnsley hospital, after he threw himself under the lorry, said: "He said what he did was foolish, but at the time he meant it."

Recording a verdict of suicide, assistant deputy Sheffield coroner David Urpeth said: "It is clear to me that Mr Wells was committed to taking his own life."

After the inquest, Mr Wells' widow, Ann Wells, said her husband should have been transported between hospitals in an ambulance.

"The wrong decision was taken. He should've been with a man. If he had had three men with him, in an ambulance, he would still have been alive today

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