April 21, 2024
Health

NHS mental health trust failings contributed to Middlesbrough man’s suicide, coroner finds


The mother of a man who took his own life while on unescorted leave from a mental health hospital says she will never get over the death of her only child.

Ty Channce was under the care of the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) at Roseberry Park Hospital, in Middlesbrough, when he was let out alone for the first time in nine months in April 2021.

Just hours later, the 20-year-old was found dead in nearby woodland.

An inquest last week found there had had being a number of failings by TEWV which contributed to his death.

Speaking to ITV Tyne Tees, his mother Cheryl Allan said: “It’s absolutely broken us all, we’re never going to get over the loss of Ty, he was so loved.

“To put him into somebody else’s hands and never get him back has absolutely broken our family apart.”

Ty was sectioned under the mental health act in 2018, at the age of 18.

He was struggling with psychosis caused by his schizophrenia and admitted to Roseberry Park Hospital.

Ms Allan said: “Even though he was in there to get better I feel like he’d been taken away from me.

“We thought he was going in there to get the best of the help.”

Ms Allan said that over time her son’s condition in hospital deteriorated, something she said she raised concerns about “on a regular basis”.

Ty Channce’s mum said she would never get over the death of her only child. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

On 28 April 2021, Ty requested, and was granted, two hours of unescorted community leave off the hospital grounds.

It was the first time in nine months he had been granted unescorted leave due to lockdown restrictions.

He left the hospital at 3:30pm with £60, which he had asked for, to go to a cafe.

He did not return to the hospital and was found dead in woods near Nunthorpe at 6:29pm the same day.

Ty Channce was in the care of the Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust when he took his own life. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Mrs Allan said the loss of her son said has “torn her family apart”.

She added: “We’re filled with a hole in our hearts that will never be filled again.”

At an inquest into his death last week, the coroner ruled that a number of failings by the Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust had contributed to his death.

These were:

  • Failure to reintroduce gradual unescorted leave for Ty. When he was granted leave in April 2021 he had not been on unescorted leave for nine months.

  • Failure to ensure Ty had been taking his medication. Ty had missed 34 days worth of medication and the inquest heard that he was under-medicated when he died.

Cheryl Allan says the loss of her son Ty “absolutely broke” her. Credit: Handout

Ms Allan told ITV Tyne Tees the findings of the inquest had been hard to hear.

She said: “He shouldn’t have been released without anyone being with him and we should have been informed.

“It had been a long time since he’d been out on his own and to release him without supervision, after all that time, then I just think it was a failing in itself.”

Ty Channce with his father Carlton Channce.

The Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust has been under scrutiny in recent years relating to the care of three women who took their own lives in its hospitals.

In response to the findings of the inquest into Ty’s death, the trust’s chief nurse Beverley Murphy said: “We understand how difficult a coroner hearing can be, and our thoughts are with Ty’s family during this difficult time. We are sincerely sorry for their loss.

“We reviewed Ty’s care and have made several improvements, including the introduction of new medication practices to more robustly monitor self-administered medication.

“We will act on the inquest findings and continue to improve so that we can provide the best care possible.”

Ty Channce with his mother Cheryl Allan. Credit: Handout

Ms Allan said she cannot accept the trust’s apology and that changes now need to be made to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

“I can’t stress enough that these failings need to stop,” she said. “I can’t accept the trust’s apology to be honest with you because nothing is bring my son back and I really feel like they’re letting a lot of people down. It really, really does need to change and even though they apologised my son’s not coming home.”

Concluding the inquest last week, the coroner told the court that the changes brought to the trust following Mr Channce’s death will live on as “Ty’s legacy”.

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