TWO grieving sisters have vowed to hold the NHS to account after an inquest heard how their brother was found hanging from a tree in Chester.
Mark Brocklehurst, from Newton, was reported missing by his family on June 25 when they returned from a holiday to Spain.
But despite police investigations, it was not until 1pm on June 27 that a local resident discovered the 48-year-old’s body hanging from a tree in a field off Hermitage Road, in Saughall.
Warrington Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Brocklehurst had suffered from depression and anxiety and had complained of “being mithered” by voices in his head before he ultimately decided to commit suicide.
He had been seen several times by his GP, Dr Michael Lowrie at the Elms Medical Centre, in Hoole, before he was referred to Mr William Benyon, a specialist on the local mental health team at Ellesmere Port Hospital.
The court heard how Mr Brocklehurst had to wait 12 weeks between counselling sessions and was never seen by a psychiatrist.
Chrystal Brocklehurst of Blacon told Dr Lowrie: “I told you he was going to kill himself and you did nothing. I pleaded with you to see to him.
“I will not rest until something has been done.”
After Mr Benyon had answered questions posed by coroner for Cheshire Dr Nicholas Rheinberg on the mental health trust’s system and conduct, sister Faith Brocklehurst said: “We asked for the team to refer him to a psychiatrist but he waited and waited and waited.”
She asked: “Why was he just put onto the general waiting list and not seen by a psychiatrist within 48 hours?
“We had to watch him every day. You must have seen the changes he went through, he needed help. He needed a psychiatrist.”
Mr Benyon admitted that he was not happy with the way in which the case had been handled and that the mental health team were going through a period of transition at the time of Mr Brocklehurst’s death.
He said: “It is a tragedy. There was a delay and that was just they way it went. As a service we are not happy about that. We have since changed the service.”
Dr Rheinberg was satisfied that no third party was involved in the hanging and recorded a verdict of death caused by hanging but added that Mr Brocklehurst had “taken his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed”.
He advised the family members present at the inquest on Wednesday to contact the chief executive of the Cheshire and Wirral Primary Care Trust and request an investigation to be held.