FAMILY FEEL ‘LET DOWN’ OVER CARE

AN Eastwood man jumped off a motorway bridge to his death days after he sought emergency help for a ‘breakdown’.

An inquest at Nottingham Coroner’s Court heard Cyril Manchester, 67, had become depressed after being diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – known as COPD.

His illness had forced him to stop working for the family’s building business.

His widow Andrea told the inquest that Mr Manchester had loved his job and felt he was ‘letting the boys down’.

He jumped from a bridge on the M1 on June 22 last year and died from multiple injuries, the inquest heard.

He was first taken to hospital two weeks before, following an overdose, but later said he regretted his actions.

A psychiatrist was called to his home in The Crescent on Friday, June 18, after a GP recommended he be seen urgently.

Mr Manchester was prescribed medication to help him sleep and appeared ‘calmer’ after his discussion with Dr Catherine Gordon.

But the next morning he took a turn for the worse.

Mrs Manchester said: “He was shaking uncontrollably, he was like a little child. He was really in a bad way, possibly as though he had had a breakdown.”

The inquest heard there was no crisis team available over the weekend for over-65s, so the family went to the Queen’s Medical Centre.

Nurse Bibi Sohawon, who assessed him, said: “He told me he had suicidal thoughts about jumping in front of a train and thought about taking another overdose.”

But she added Mr Manchester said the thoughts were ‘fleeting’ and he said he did not intend to act on them.

The inquest heard Mr Manchester did not meet the criteria to be sectioned under Mental Health Act, but could have been admitted with his consent if it was thought appropriate.

However, medics felt he should stay with his family rather than find himself with patients whose problems might distress him further.

Mairin Casey, assistant deputy coroner for Nottinghamshire, said: “The family are understandably perturbed that, a matter of days later, he had put into effect the plan that had been on his mind for some time.”

But she said it was ‘not at all unusual for people who are unwell to become even more unwell if they keep in the company of people who are very, very unwell’.

Mr Manchester appeared to improve after leaving hospital and was at a family gathering the night before he died.

He told his wife he was going to B&Q on the morning of his death, but was later seen jumping from the bridge.

Miss Casey said it was impossible to say whether Mr Manchester had meant to take his life.

He recorded a narrative verdict as follows: “On June 22, 2010, Mr Cyril Manchester jumped from a bridge over the M1 motorway.”

She said mental health care was not an ‘exact science’.

Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Manchester said she felt ‘let down by the NHS’ over her husband’s treatment and the family were exploring legal action.

A spokeswoman for Notts Healthcare said: “Notts Healthcare would like to offer its condolences to the family of Mr Manchester.

“Mr Manchester had been in contact with our services for a short period in June 2010.

“Following a number of full assessments and consultation with Mr Manchester, a home treatment package was agreed and put in place.

“The coroner found that the treatment provided by the trust was appropriate.

“Our sympathies are with Mr Manchester’s family.”