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Artist found dead after early mental health ward release

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image copyrightFamily photo
image captionRowan Morrall died two days after he was discharged from a specialist mental health unit

The family of a "gifted" artist claim he would still be alive if he had not been discharged from a mental health unit nine days early.

Rowan Morrall, 26, from Bedford, took his own life hours after he was released from hospital in Luton in September 2016.

An inquest heard there had been no care plan in place and his family had not been consulted ahead of his release.

Bedfordshire coroner Ian Pears ruled Mr Morrall's death was suicide.

image copyrightFamily photo
image captionThe inquest heard there had been no care plan for the 26-year-old's release from hospital

The hearing in Ampthill was told Mr Morrall was admitted to the Coral Ward at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, where 24-hour inpatient care is provided by the East London NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Morrall's father, David, said his son had a history of mental health problems, and had spoken of wanting to take his own life.

The 26-year-old was admitted in August 2016 and sectioned under the Mental Health Act for a three-week period.

"We were expecting to meet with medical teams to talk about Rowan's care two days after he was released," Mr Morrall said, "then suddenly we got a call from Rowan to say he was still feeling suicidal.

"We couldn't understand why they discharged him."

image captionRowan's parents, David and Sarah Morrall, say they had not been told their son was being discharged early

David Morrall said a nurse had struggled to gain access to his son's flat two days later, and he arrived to help, only to find his son dead.

"Rowan was an incredibly gifted, talented individual," he said. "His mental health got in the way ultimately.

"If the trust had not taken the decision to discharge Rowan early, if he'd been kept in for as long as they said they would, if we'd been engaged and consulted on what was best for him, he'd still be alive today."

Coroner Mr Pears said the discharge process at the unit had been "haphazard".

He said "no care plan had been created or discussed" but that "those failings did not lead to his [Rowan's] death".

A spokesman for the East London Foundation Trust said it had carried out "a thorough review" of Rowan's treatment and care.

"We are committed to learning lessons from this tragic case."

Related Topics

  • Bedford
  • Ampthill
  • Luton

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