MENTAL health bosses have carried out a review after the death of a well-known Hampshire shopkeeper from an accidental drugs overdose.

Tests found that trader David Stearn, 36, had been drinking when he took a fatal dose of his anti-depressants and died at his home.

Southampton coroner Keith Wiseman ruled that Mr Stearn’s death was accidental after hearing how he had a tendency to try to catch up with his medicine after forgetting to take it.

Eleven days before his death he had taken one week’s worth in one day, the inquest heard.

But before Mr Stearn died on Christmas Eve, the court was told that he received double the amount of medicine because of reduced pharmacy opening hours over the festive period.

Southampton Coroner’s Court was told how Mr Stearn’s family believed that his prescription should have been reviewed in light of his issues with alcohol.

Giving evidence, older brother Darryl said that alcohol might have caused Mr Stearn to become confused about how much of his medicine he had taken.

He said: “There appears to be no decent comprehensive assessment on the aspect of his problem.”

A report of Mr Stearn’s care at the time of his death found that non-drug treatment involving multi-disciplinary agencies may have helped him.

Report author Eileen Morton, in her evidence, said: “A cognitive behaviour therapy approach was suggested and might have been appropriate but never was discussed.”

A spokesman for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust said that reviews were always carried out following a sudden death of a patient.

He said: “This was a tragic accident and our thoughts are with David’s friends and family at this sad time.”

But he said the trust believed that it could not have prevented the accident occurring because at Mr Stearn’s request, much of his care was provided through his GP and the local pharmacy that dispensed his medicine.

Speaking after the inquest, Darryl Stearn said: “We are happy they are addressing these issues in the hope that care will be improved for others in the future.”

Mr Stearn’s dad, Neville, said: “If one person can be saved from this inquest it will have done its job.”

Mr Stearn was found dead in his home in East Bank Road, Brockenhurst, by his partner, Jeremy Van Der Camp.

Originally from Leicester, Mr Stearn moved to the New Forest four years before his death and with the help of his parents, he opened the Bubble cosmetic shop in the village’s Brookley Road.

The inquest heard how he suffered from bipolar disorder as well as agoraphobia which became so bad that he was unable to attend face to face appointments with his psychiatrist in Southampton, who resorted to speaking to him over the telephone.

The hearing heard how he would also drink, with tests |revealing that he was 1.2 times the drink-driving limit on the day of his death.