A WIDOW who found her depressed husband hanging in their garage says he was failed by a Cheshire psychiatric hospital.
June Pamela Nield, of Whartons Lake, Kingsley, desperately tried to resuscitate Kenneth, a former in-patient at Halton's Brooker Centre.
At an inquest last week, she described her 72-year-old husband's slide into depression after suffering serious illnesses, including diabetes and cancer.
'The doctors let him down badly,' she told Dr Robert Hunter, deputy coroner for Cheshire. 'We all felt that he did not get the attention that he needed.'
Mr Nield began to suffer from depression in January of last year. On June 5 he was admitted as an in-patient at the Brooker Centre because of suicidal tendencies.
Mrs Nield said: 'He seemed a bit better, but I think that was just because he had terrible nerves and couldn't be alone and at the centre there was always someone there.
'On July 8, they told him he was well enough to come home and gave him an appointment for August 14. But it was on the same day that Ken had another appointment at Clatterbridge Hospital, so I called to rearrange.'
But Mr Nield's next appointment was not made until September 25. She claimed her husband was not offered any support in the meantime. He was neither visited by a community nurse nor given a number for a helpline.
'It seemed a long time to leave him without checking to see if he was all right,' she said. 'He was not feeling any better.'
Mr Nield contacted the Brooker Centre and asked to be readmitted but was refused. He visited his GP on September 1 and was given more medication for his depression.
On the morning of his death, Monday, September 15, Mr Nield was to go to see his doctor again with his wife.
She said: 'He was in the kitchen eating toast and I was talking to him. I then went to get ready. It was the last time I was to speak to him.'
When Mrs Nield went back downstairs, the breakfast plates had been cleared, but Mr Nield was nowhere to be seen. After searching the house, she found her husband hanging in the garage.
She said: 'I just feel the Brooker Centre let him down. I am not sure if it would have been better for him to stay there, as there was nothing for patients to do. But we did all feel very disappointed that he was left for so long.'
Dr Hunter said: 'The coroner's office were not made aware of Mrs Nield's concerns before the hearing, otherwise I would have summoned doctors there to give evidence. Mr Nield never expressed any intention to take his own life. To reach a verdict of suicide I have to be sure, beyond reasonable doubt, that he intended to die.'
He recorded an open verdict.