MENTAL health chiefs are under fire again after an inquest heard how a vulnerable Hampshire man may have lain dead for up to six months in his home before his body was discovered.

Nicholas Green’s family were not told he had been discharged by mental health care teams because of “red tape”, Winchester Coroner’s Court was told.

His body was found on June 9 last year at his home in Ellis Drive, Micheldever Station, after neighbours raised the alarm because they had not seen him for months.

The court heard that Mr Green previously lived with his mother, but his mental health may have declined when she died in August 2014, and he was living alone independently before his death.

The inquest heard how a family member wrote to doctors over concerns about Mr Green’s well-being.

Mental health care teams at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust had previously monitored him but discharged him from the service in November 2014.

Interim team manager Claire Hibberd told the inquest that a report into Mr Green’s death revealed there were failings.

The court heard Mr Green had told a nurse that his mother had died and shared concerns about self neglect and not eating, but nurses spoke to a psychiatrist who said there was no decline and ruled he was not mentally unwell.

Ms Hibberd said in hindsight the community mental health team should have assessed Mr Green’s social care needs before he was discharged, and said this wasn’t done due to miscommunication.

Ms Hibberd added said certain data about Mr Green may not have been shared due to a “lack of consent” to share documentation which led to confusion about sharing information with the family.

Mr Green’s family say they were unhappy they did not receive any correspondence back from Southern Health after expressing concerns.

A spokeswoman for the family said: “No-one communicated to us and that has been the most fundamental flaw in this.”

Pathologist Dr Raid Al-Talib said an exact time of death could not be pinpointed because Mr Green’s body was in an advanced stage of decomposition. He added there was evidence of coronary artery disease which may explain the death.

The inquest heard Mr Green suffered from schizophrenia since 2006 and was later re-diagnosed as having schizotypal personality disorder in May 2014.

The inquest heard how he refused medication for his mental health problems.

Senior coroner Grahame Short recorded a verdict of death from natural causes.

He said: “He was referred as a vulnerable person who needed support from adult services the fact is that information was not shared between adult services.

“I think that happened in part because of the system. It does seem to me that information should have been shared with those responsible and the county council at the time.

“Despite this fact the reality is Nick received no support from a social worker after a meeting in November 2014.

“I think it is clear from what his sister has said that she did write and phone Southern Health community mental health team to inform them about her concerns and she was refused information.”

He added he did not know if the death could have been prevented, but said it would have at least been known sooner.

Following the inquest Dr Mary Kloer, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director for Adult Mental Health at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Our team was very saddened to learn of Nick’s death. We are very sorry for his loss and have offered his family our sincere condolences.

“After learning of Nick’s death, we began an investigation to review the support we had offered and to see if there was anything we could have done differently.

"We contacted Nick’s family to offer them an opportunity to contribute to the investigation and help us learn.  

“A key learning from our investigation is to ensure that our ‘consent to share’ documentation is clearer so that family members can be better informed about any changes to a loved one’s care.

"We have also made improvements to how we document patient assessments, to improve our decision making processes.

"We will be sharing the full results of the investigation with Nick’s family so that they will be able to see where the changes to our mental health services will be made.

“Importantly, when there is any concern about the circumstances surrounding a person’s death, the Trust will always either investigate or support an investigation by another organisation.”

  • CRITICISM by the family of Nicholas Green is the latest blow to hit Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The under-fire organisation has faced repeated criticism for failing to properly investigate the deaths of hundreds of people.

An inquiry by Mazars revealed how of 10,306 deaths, only 272 had been investigated between April 2011 and March 2015.

It led to the trust being issued with a warning notice by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which has been quizzing staff, patients and carers.

The CQC is set to publish its full report before the end of the month.

As reported by the Daily Echo, Fareham MP Suella Fernandes has called for a debate in Parliament on concerns surrounding the trust.

She also chaired a meeting of parliamentary colleagues from Hampshire who grilled chief executive Katrina Percy, who has repeatedly rejected calls for her resignation over the crisis.

The trust’s medical director Dr Lesley Stevens insisted they had made “real changes” since the Mazars inquiry.

The trust, based at Tatchbury Mount in Calmore, has been hit by a series of scandals including the family of Winchester University student advisor Louse Locke vowing to take legal action against the trust.

Miss Locke, 44, was found hanging at her home in Highcliffe in May last year - a day after her pleas to be taken to hospital were turned down.