EADT: Man killed in A14 collision had just left mental health ward at NSFT

Emily Townsend of the East Anglian Daily Times reports:

A 54-year-old man died after being hit by a lorry having only just left the West Suffolk Hospital site in Bury St Edmunds, an inquest heard.

This is far from the first or only case of death or serious injury of an inpatient at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) in similar circumstances.

Andrew Gibbins was involved in a collision with an HGV on the A14 near Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday, January 15.

He had been a voluntary patient at the Wedgwood House mental health unit, run by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, an inquest into his death at Suffolk Coroner’s Court heard on Friday.

The Bury St Edmunds resident was captured on CCTV being escorted from the ward to the acute assessment unit at the hospital.

However, shortly afterwards he walked out of the hospital – before being killed in the collision.

Scandalously, Andrew Gibbins had tried to take his own life in similar circumstances only as few days before, as reported by Andrew Hirst of the EADT:

A pedestrian who died after being hit by a lorry is claimed to have stepped in front of a car just days before the fatal crash, according to a witness.

Andrew Gibbins, 54, died on the A14 in Bury St Edmunds at 8.15pm on Wednesday, January 15, when he was hit by an HGV.

But questions are now being asked about the care he received prior to his death after it emerged he was involved in another collision just days earlier.

Terry Donovan, 57, was driving along Hardwick Lane near West Suffolk Hospital on the previous Sunday morning, when his car hit Mr Gibbins.

Mr Donovan claims Mr Gibbins stepped out in front of his vehicle wearing a hospital gown, leaving him no time to brake.

Mr Donovan said he was already “pretty shaken up” by the accident. When he later learnt Mr Gibbins had died in another collision just a mile away, he started questioning what had happened to Mr Gibbins’ care.

“It was a big shock for me,” he said. “It was not too bad at first, but when I heard he’d died, it made me think – clearly he was a danger so why wasn’t he better supervised?”

Mr Donovan said he raised concerns after the first crash with Wedgwood House at West Suffolk Hospital, where he understood Mr Gibbins was a mental health patient.

He claims the manager of the ward, which is run by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, confirmed that, following the accident, Mr Gibbins had been deemed a danger and would be confined to the ward.

This is a new low, even for the worst NHS mental health trust in the country.

Toxic trust NSFT will be looking to ‘get away’ with it ‘again’ but this appears to be criminally negligent and should be investigated by Suffolk Police, Health and Safety Executive and Care Quality Commission (CQC).

There will surely be a Report to Prevent Future Deaths issued by the Suffolk Coroner but this looks like corporate manslaughter.

When toxic trust NSFT ‘looks after’ its inpatients like this, it is again obvious that its zero suicide policy is nothing more than a few pieces of paper and an excuse for meetings and nonjobs for friends and family.

For how much longer can the MPs whose constituents use mental health services in Bury St Edmunds, such as the Health Secretary Matt Hancock and local MP Jo Churchill, accept the valueless assurances and platitudes from the Board of NSFT?

How can CQC claim that NSFT is ‘improving’?

We understand morale and staffing is so low in Bury St Edmunds that managers have arranged daily meetings with front line staff.

Click on the image below to read the report in full on the EADT website:

9 thoughts on “EADT: Man killed in A14 collision had just left mental health ward at NSFT”

  1. When I worked for the trust this exact scenario was discussed in the Trusts own Suicide  Prevention Training…..and the unequivocal answer was if the person who is in hospital receiving treatment, and can’t be persuaded to stay, then the qualified nurse uses their power to detain (section 299), for up to three hours,  put the person on constant observation, and a doctor called immediately to review…..I’m sure he was saying he wasn’t going to do ‘it’ again, but someone so intent on ending their life in such a determined manner, will often say this to plan the next attempt……that is the risk…..sincere condolences to his family. What went wrong.??? Will we ever know the truth.???

  2. I was the first responder  (as a trained member of public) to attend Mr Gibbins on the carriageway but unfortunately his injuries were fatal. What I find hard to understand is that we can attach a ‘foil strip’ to a £10 dvd in a supermarket which sets off an alarm yet the wrist bands which patients have do not have this inclusion. Such a simple and inexpensive piece of security would have alerted WSH that the patient had exited the Hospital. ‘Lost’ whilst being escorted is inexcusable neglect. I will forever remember this event but spare a thought for the poor lorry driver who through trauma may never be able to get behind the wheel of a vehicle again. He is a victim too!
    Shameful neglect by WSH can only be the conclusion.

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