Home London News Prisoner commits suicide after Mental Health Team ignored him for 3 months

Prisoner commits suicide after Mental Health Team ignored him for 3 months

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Wandsworth Prison suicide

An investigation has revealed that a prisoner who said he had been attempting to see a psychiatrist for three months sadly committed suicide days later.

Officers and fellow inmates at Wandsworth voiced concerns about Sean McKeown, and one officer was so concerned that he met with a mental health team nurse. However, no one on the team recorded or followed up on the information until McKeown, 51, was discovered hung in his cell in June 2019.

According to the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s report into his death, the mental health team at the jail failed to create a care plan for McKeown after it discharged him following their previous interactions with him, leaving no outline of what should be done if his mental health deteriorated again.

He stopped taking antidepressants, his personal hygiene deteriorated, and he was discovered inebriated. He informed an officer four days before his death that he had been attempting to see a psychiatrist for three months and had not been allowed to see anyone from the mental health team.

The officer attempted to contact the mental health team, but left a voicemail on the incorrect number, which he received from a list of healthcare contact numbers. The officer also spoke with the nurse in person, who agreed to check on McKeown but did not do so or record the concern.

A spokesperson for South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, which previously provided mental health services at HMP Wandsworth, said: “We offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Sean McKeown following this very sad incident in 2019.” The Prison Service said it had implemented the Ombudsman’s recommendations, including new training for staff and a drug strategy to tackle illicit substances.

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