Tragic dad collapses at son’s inquest

The inquest into the death of Stephen Stainton was held at Blackpool Town Hall.
The inquest into the death of Stephen Stainton was held at Blackpool Town Hall.
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The father of a man who took his own life while on leave from a mental health unit collapsed just moments before a coroner recorded a verdict on the death.

The inquest at Blackpool Town Hall was halted on Wednesday while paramedics treated Philip Stainton, who at one point was believed to have suffered a heart attack.

But he was able to walk out of the building with the paramedics, who took him to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Blackpool deputy coroner Christopher Beverley heard Stephen Stainton, 38, was a voluntary inpatient at Parkwood Hospital after a failed attempt to take his own life. He spent two months at the facility, suffering depression and anxiety, and often spoke of having suicidal thoughts.

On the day he died – September 22, 2011 – he had been allowed out on escorted leave, meaning he was to remain in the care of his parents in Lytham. But the inquest heard they were not given details of his privileges.

Andrew Wilson, who compiled a post-incident review for Lancashire Care NHS Trust said: “Stephen had details of his current care plan from health care staff, but there was no advice for Stephen or his family relating to escorted leave.

“His family did not receive a copy of his care plan and his parents were not aware they should not have let their son go for a walk on the day of his death.”

Mr Stainton was found hanged in Birk Wood, Lytham.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Mr Beverley said: “Stephen took his own life, and we are not in a position to establish his state of mind at the time. That is something that will remain a blur for us.”

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Care plan will be given to service users on leave

Father of two Stephen Stainton, formerly of Lancaster, had moved to his parents’ home in Lytham as his depression took hold, the inquest heard.

He checked himself into Parkwood Hospital, which was given a list of recommendations following Mr Stainton’s death in 2011.

One ensures service users cannot leave without being given a copy of their care plan, which would have alerted Mr Stainton’s parents of his privilege of “escorted leave”.

The recommendations had been implemented at the unit.

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