THE brother of a man who died after apparently throwing himself in front of an express train at Basingstoke station has launched a campaign, saying he wants to ensure other people do not suffer a similar fate.

Mark Connor, who was 55, had been treated for depression at Parklands psychiatric hospital in Basingstoke before his death on April 13.

His brother, Luke Connor, 41, flew over from his home in South Africa and this week stood outside Basingstoke station handing out pamphlets calling for better treatment and alleging the local NHS had let his brother down.

Mr Connor claims his brother was discharged from Parklands on the morning of his death - but this has been denied by a hospital spokesman.

Mr Connor said: "I think that mental health patients should be treated in the same way as people with physical problems. It seems that the system just does not cater for them.

"Case-by-case analysis is needed and a risk assessment needs to be done on each patient. I want the system to be made more thorough to prevent tragedies like this."

Mr Connor was outside the station on Tuesday and Wednesday, handing out all 800 of the leaflets he had printed.

He plans to protest outside the Houses of Parliament and form a lobby group. And he said he would like to set up a meeting with the new MP for Basingstoke after the general election.

Mr Connor paid tribute to his brother Mark, who was originally from Manchester and had been working in the Basingstoke area as a carer for the disabled prior to being admitted to Parklands in January.

He said: "Mark was a kind and gentle man - a man you would be proud to call your brother and friend. He was a very sensitive, giving and compassionate man. Nobody had a bad word to say about him. He was a great chap and well liked."

David Freeman, media and communications manager at Hampshire Partnerships NHS Trust, which runs Parklands, said that Mr Connor had been staying at the hospital while staff tried to find somewhere else for him to stay.

He said: "Mr Connor was an informal patient. His medical state was not so serious that we were able to keep him against his will under the Mental Health Act, so he was free to come and go as he pleased.

"He was doing well with his treatment and not thought to be a risk to himself. He was assessed a number of times and considered fit for discharge in March, but was never told he would have to leave."

Mr Freeman added that the trust is keen for Luke Connor to contact its patient advice and liaison service in order to discuss his concerns, and said the trust will be investigating the incident. However, a report will not be made until an inquest has taken place.

The inquest into Mr Connor's death is due to take place on June 29.

First published: Friday, May 6, 2005