The court heard that Mr Rice’s family believed he may have had ADHD, and he was tested for it last year, but never had the result before his death.
A statement from his GP confirmed that Mr Rice had been referred to mental health services in November 2018 and reported the same issue again in May 2019.
He was prescribed medication last year, and this was believed to be working until earlier this year, when Mr Rice attended A&E on February 24.
Mr Rice was seen by Florence Makurira, who works in the mental health liaison team at Fairfield Hospital.
She told court that he had walked out on her during his assessment, before returning with his partner and talking about resolving ‘anger management issues’.
Mr Rice complained to his GP about his medication not working in April, and the dosage was increased, before raising the issue a month later when the prescription was switched.
He attended A&E twice in three days in May for injuries, before returning on May 17 after attempting an overdose.
Mr Rice’s father took him to hospital and told both the receptionist and a triage nurse that he believed his son should be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, the court heard.
His dad stayed with him for five hours before leaving Mr Rice at the hospital, where he was again assessed by Ms Makurira.
She told court he was displaying a ‘fleeting suicidal ideation’ but had no signs of psychosis or acute depression, and was able to make his own decisions.
Ms Makurira said Mr Rice was deemed low risk to himself or others, and claimed he appeared ‘tranquil’.
He was referred to a remote mental health service set up during the pandemic and told to expect a call within 24 hours – which was an assessment Mr Rice agreed with, Ms Makurira said.
Gordon Rice, alongside Mr Rice’s mother and grandmother who were also in attendance, shook their heads at Ms Makurira’s testimony and expressed their disbelief that he had been allowed to leave hospital so soon.
He said: “I told both of them – the receptionist and triage – that he wanted to die.
“And then within 30 minutes of me leaving hospital, he was sent home.”
Ms Makurira added: “There were no grounds to keep him in hospital. He did not meet the criteria of being in hospital.”
Margaret O’Neil, head of quality for mental health services in Bury at Pennine Care, conducted a review of Mr Rice’s case at Fairfield Hospital and found the trust’s response to have been ‘appropriate’.
She told the court that in February, Mr Rice had denied he had been self-harming and said his main issue was anger management, and said that on May 17 there were ‘no concerns with Jim’s capacity’.
She added: “There were no identified concerns [with the hospital’s actions]. The actions taken were in line with the expected standards.”
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Source: Manchester Evening News, 28th October 2021