FAILINGS have been identified by a mental health trust after a ‘loving and caring’ father took his life.

It comes as Winchester Coroner’s Court heard 30-year-old Ricky Collins was found dead in his flat on December 10.

The inquest heard Mr Collins’ marriage had ended in October, and after a failed attempt to reconcile with his wife on December 9, Mr Collins returned to his home in Millbrook Road East, where he was found hanging the following morning.

However, Louise Earl, an investigating officer for mental health trust Southern Health, said a probe into Mr Collins short time as a patient found they had let him down.

Mr Collins had seen his GP over low mood and suicidal feelings in October, which led to him becoming a Southern Health patient.

Ms Earl said that after only two meetings Mr Collins was discharged as a patient, which senior coroner Grahame Short described as “quite incredible”. Ms Earl said the team had been “very focused on the relationship difficulties and the previous risks were not taken into consideration”.

She also said that Mr Collins had not been prescribed medication as it had been referred to his GP, creating confusion as the mental health team were expected to prescribe it.

During the inquest, Mr Collins’ family added they had not been contacted by Southern Health about his treatment, despite him giving consent and them being expected to do so.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, senior coroner Grahame Short said he believed Mr Collins not being able to accept life without his wife was the reason for his suicide.

Criticising Southern Health, he added: “There was no proper care plan. His family was not told. More significantly he was not prescribed any medication which may have helped him.

“I don’t know however whether that would have made any difference.”

Following the inquest, Mr Collins’ wife Samantha said: “Ricky was a loving, caring husband, and was a wonderful father to his two sons, who he adored.

“Ricky was always clowning around, and everyone will remember him for his silly antics that he used to get up to. He was the kind of person who would help anyone if needed.”

Dr Adam Cox, Southern Health clinical director for Southampton, added: “We would like to extend our deepest condolences to Ricky’s family, although we know it will provide little comfort at this difficult time.

“Our investigation into the care Ricky received highlighted a number of issues. These included the standard of the care plan we provided, our risk assessment, which did not address Ricky’s past history or the current context of his illness, and the decision making surrounding our decision to discharge.

“We are working closely with the staff involved to ensure the issues highlighted in our investigation are addressed. This has already included supervision, reflective practice and the identifying of any additional learning and development needs for staff.”