Death of man, 23, sparks trust's promise over carer communication (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Keighley care services criticised after overdose of partner’s painkillers ended in tragedy
Health Trust bosses have pledged to improve how they work with carers following the death of a 23-year-old man who accidentally overdosed on his partner’s painkillers, The promise comes after Bradford District Care Trust carried out its own inquiry into the death last August of Marvin King, who was known to its Keighley staff.
Earlier this week a Bradford inquest heard how Mr King, who regularly dressed as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, had taken the tablets that killed him as a cry for help.
But his partner Gypsi Markey had told Bradford Assistant Deputy Coroner Roger Whittaker how she believed her soulmate had been “let down 100 per cent” by mental health and social care workers at the Trust’s Meridian House base in Keighley.
Speaking after the inquest Miss Markey said she had become Mr King’s carer after meeting him online when he was 19.
But despite them living together in Windsor Grove, Oakworth, for four years – the Trust refused to accept her as his carer or to talk to her about him.
She now hopes the Trust will keep its word and said: “I hope they will be more vigilant and that carers will remain vigilant of them to make sure no more lives are lost.”
Mr King had left a tough and troubled family-life in Peterborough to make a new start with her, said Miss Markey who is his twice his age.
Aware of his depression and self-harming habit, she took him to see a GP, which led to a mental health referral and him getting a community psychiatric nurse at Meridian House.
But when that nurse left, Miss Markey said he never got another one and was given a social worker instead, which ended in pleas for more help being ignored.
She said: “They refused to acknowledge me as his carer – they did not treat me as his carer or support me as his carer.
“I begged and begged them to listen to me and talk to me but they would not – Marvin even wrote them a letter.
“After he died they did their own inquiry and told me they had failed him on three counts, but it had not contributed to his death – I beg to differ.”
Nicola Lees, deputy chief executive and director of nursing at Bradford District Care Trust, said: “Our care is always reviewed in line with good practice to identify any learning to improve care.
“At the time this accident took place, we undertook an internal investigation and in line with the Coroner’s findings, this investigation found that we could not have prevented this accident from happening.
“As a result of our own findings, we identified three areas for development including how we identify, involve and support carers and we will continue to improve in these areas.”
Mr King died at his home on the morning of August 21, 2012, after Miss Markey found he had taken an overdose. Paramedics she called to the house were unable to save him.