North West Wales

Betsi Cadwaladr health board criticised over suicide

Petra Jones Image copyright Family photo

A woman has criticised a health board after her mother killed herself hours after being released from a mental health unit despite a warning she intended to go home to end her life.

Petra Jones, 49, from Anglesey, suffered with depression for 10 years and had a personality disorder.

She was treated at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board's Hergest mental health unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

The health board said it could not comment on individual cases.

Her daughter, Ffion Jones, told BBC Radio Cymru's Manylu programme: "I know this won't bring mum back, but we know this has happened to a lot of families - the same situation.

"So we've made a complaint so it doesn't happen again in the future and to get a bit more help for families.

"When they tell them what a family member has told them - it should be taken a bit more seriously."

She said her mother tried to harm herself and took an overdose on several occasions as her condition deteriorated over the years.

Mrs Jones was admitted to Hergest several times and the family said they wanted her sectioned but she was released.

The last time came in April 2015.

Phone call

Ffion Jones said: "My mother told me over the phone that once she was home she'd go to the garage and kill herself.

"I phoned Hergest and told this to one of the staff and she said 'well, I understand your concern but the psychiatrist will say whether or not she's allowed to go home'.

"An hour later Hergest phoned again to say mum was on her way home. I was a little bit angry about this because she'd been allowed to go home by herself."

A few hours later Petra Jones was found dead in the garage at her home.

Ffion Jones has filed her complaint with the community health council, and Manylu has spoken to other families who have raised concerns about mental health care in north Wales.

And earlier this year, north west Wales coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones told an inquest he had 15 cases of men killing themselves over the recent months, "many of them with a link to Hergest".

Clwyd West Conservative AM Darren Miller said there were two problems.

"The first is a lack of strong leadership and shortcomings in management, and the second is there are not enough beds in north Wales and not enough staff either," he said.

The health board said mental health services had been radically restructured over the last 12 months and it took feedback from patients "extremely seriously".

A spokesman added: "We are fully focused on improving the way mental health services are delivered across north Wales."

More on this story