‘More should have been done’ to help Bradford dad-of-two Martin Burnett

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The family of a dad-of-two who took his own life after “missed opportunities” by an NHS trust to give him the help he needed have demanded improvements to mental health services.

Martin Burnett, of Bradford, died in November 2015 after struggling for four years to come to terms with the sudden death of his wife Delith from an epileptic fit.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust admitted to failings in his care in the months after Mr Burnett was referred for mental health support in July that year after suffering from low mood and sleep problems.

His parents Agnes and Roy took legal action to find out if more should have been done to help Mr Burnett, 40, after he was referred to the Adult Mental Health Services First Response Team.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell, representing the family, said Mr Burnett, who is survived by children Mackenzie, 15, and Darcie, 11, should have been given immediate support after he and his family sought help.

Mr Burnett was found dead at his home by his parents on November 22, after he had hanged himself. Agnes Burnett, 63, of Clayton, Bradford, who now cares for the children with Roy, said: “It is nearly three years since Martin died and the whole family remains completely and utterly devastated by his loss. In many ways his death has been made harder by the fact that we now know that more could and should have been done to help him.

“While nothing will bring him back, we hope that his story will lead to improvements in care.

Irwin Mitchell said Mr Burnett should have been given immediate support instead of being referred for group counselling.

Suicidal intention had not been spotting during a telephone assessment in September 2015.

A consultant psychiatrist who examined the case said that had Mr Burnett been referred for a face-to-face review, he would have received immediate help, either at home or as an inpatient.

Irwin Mitchell lawyer Lauren Bullock said: “This is an unbearably tragic story where a family has had to endure a devastating sequence of events.”

A spokesperson for Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “We would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family following this tragic incident. Following the sad death of Martin, we undertook a thorough investigation to identify learning from this incident and we have made improvements to the service involved.”

Kane Pigford.

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