Suicidal Blackwood son ‘let down’ by GPs
7:51am Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in News
A YOUNG man died from drug misuse just two weeks after a mental health professional assessed he was of no risk to himself, an inquest heard on Thursday.
Ross Richard Lewis, 21, of Gordon Road, Blackwood, was discovered dead on a friend’s sofa in Aberbargoed on June 6. He had been seen earlier in the morning but was thought to be sleeping. It wasn’t until the evening when the same person returned and saw him in the same position that suspicion was aroused.
Ross had taken prescription drugs before falling asleep. A Newport inquest heard how his life had changed when he was 17, when he was badly assaulted by a group of boys in Bargoed, which led to him become isolated and withdrawn and leave college.
His mother, Andrea Price, said: “It completely changed him. He wasn’t acknowledging that anything was wrong with him but the family could all see the changes in him.”
In March this year, he admitted he wasn’t well and went to a GP the following day.
Ms Price said: “They wouldn’t listen to him. They didn’t feel it was urgent, even though he told them he was feeling suicidal and taking drugs off the street.”
Desperate for action, his mother went online looking for private services, but all required a GP referral. His mother recalled to the inquest ringing the doctor one night because Ross was screaming he wanted to be sectioned. No referral was made.
In May, Ross had an appointment with the Mental Health Team at Ystrad Mynach Hospital.
Ms Price said: “They said they didn’t think he was a risk to himself and to wait another five weeks for an appointment. Ross turned to me and said, ‘how am I supposed to go another five weeks mam?’”
Two and a half weeks later, Ross was dead.
Ms Price said: “The mental health service really let him down. We were begging them to help him.”
A post mortem examination revealed cause of death as combined drug toxicity. Gwent Coroner David Bowen recorded the death as misadventure.
A spokesman from the Anuerin Bevan health authority said: “To date we are not aware of any concerns raised by his (Ross’) family, however, if they wish to contact us we would of course look into any aspect of the care that was provided.”
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