James Pollard inquest: 'Staff neglect' contributed to suicide

Fromeside medium secure unit Mr Pollard's parents had warned staff that "something was wrong"

Related Stories

A vulnerable and severely ill mental health patient killed himself after being neglected by staff at a secure hospital, an inquest has concluded.

James Pollard, 36, of Plymouth, died at Fromeside in Bristol in April 2013, Avon Coroner's Court heard.

Mr Pollard's parents said they had warned staff in the days before that "something was wrong".

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust admitted "an error in judgement".

'Chief grievance'

Fromeside is run by the trust to provide the highest security for severely disturbed patients anywhere in the West Country.

Patients spend much of their time under close observation, and at times have to be locked in their own rooms.

The inquest heard that Mr Pollard had tried to take his own life several times before managing to kill himself using the lead of his CD player.

The jury said that staff neglect had contributed to his death.

Staff said Mr Pollard was being constantly assessed, and was not presenting as significantly paranoid or suicidal.

But they acknowledged that he would hide the symptoms of his illness.

Since Mr Pollard's death, patients can now only have shortened leads on equipment.

Speaking outside court, Ian Dixey, the Pollard family barrister, read in a statement on their behalf: "There were failures in risk assessment, communication and patient management.

"Our chief grievance was that the internal investigation carried out by the trust did not acknowledge these failures.

"They failed in their primary duty to keep our son safe."

Chief executive Iain Tully said: "We failed to take account of what the patient's relatives had to say - it's critical our staff do (this).

"An error of judgement was made on this occasion and we must learn from James's tragic death."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Bristol



7 °C 3 °C


  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6

  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?

  • A man shutting his eyes tightlyStrange light show

    What do you see when you close your eyes?

  • Sony WalkmanLost ideas

    What has happened to Japan's inventors?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.