Inquest: doctor 'did not know' man had talked of killing himself (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Inquest: doctor 'did not know' man had talked of killing himself
4:32pm Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
A hospital doctor who gave a psychiatric patient the go-ahead for unescorted ground leave did not know he had talked about ending his life or that he had later been seen with red marks around his neck, an inquest heard today.
Dr Keith Rix was giving evidence in the second week of an inquest into the death of 31-year-old Peter Barnes who was found hanged in the grounds of Cygent hospital in Wyke a week after he went missing.
Mr Barnes had been given a 30-minute unsupervised cigarette break on October 13, 2011.
But he disappeared and his body was discovered seven days later in the hospital's woodland, concealed by trees and shrubbery.
A post-mortem suggested he had died within a few hours of going missing.
Nurses' notes charted how Mr Barnes, who was detained under the Mental Health Act, had been overheard detailing a plan to kill himself - but these details had not been flagged up to the ward manager, Gwen Horn.
Today the inquest heard how Dr Rix, who shared responsibility for giving patients unescorted ground leave with nursing staff, had approved unescorted ground leave for Mr Barnes on October 12.
Despite meetings with Mr Barnes, he had not known about the red marks on his patient's neck which had been seen on October 1, the same day that he had been overheard on the phone talking to his grandfather about a plan to end his life.
Dr Rix said: "The unit was volatile, frightening, disturbing and a disturbed environment at times, and that was the sort of atmosphere that would increase the likelihood of Peter's violent behaviour.”
Dr Rix was asked if he would have granted ground leave to Mr Barnes had he known then what he knew now. He replied: "I would probably not have granted unescorted leave."
The inquest continues.