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  1. ITV Report

Father of a man who took his own life 48 hours after nurses discharged him says system is 'not fit for purpose'

The father of a 35-year-old man who took his own life less than 48 hours after nurses discharged him from hospital has told ITV News that the "system itself or people operating it are not fit for purpose."

Andrew Bellerby was taken to A&E at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital in July 2015 after staff at a pharmacy in the city became concerned about him.

His father, Richard Bellerby, said that his son was having suicidal thoughts and actions but mental health nurses decided he was not a risk and discharged him.

His son took his own life less than two days later.

Andrew Bellerby attended Bradford Grammar School. Credit: Family Handout

Mr Bellerby said that by his late teens Andrew was struggling with substance abuse and ended up in a rehabilitation centre in Sheffield, a city where he stayed.

He said that, despite better periods, he had an ongoing struggle with addiction and mental health issues including depression and paranoia. When Andrew ended up in hospital in July 2015 he was discharged after two nurses used a method called the Crisis Triage Rating Scale (CTRS) as part of their assessment of him and deemed him not to be a risk, Mr Bellerby said.

He said the trust's internal investigation found that the nurses were not trained to carry out the CTRS assessment.

“That scale, with those untrained staff, was just the tip of the iceberg,” Mr Bellerby said.

“That was just the last thing that happened before he took his life.

”It was a lack of care throughout the process of that particular trust dealing with our son's care.“

After a two-and-half year battle, Mr Bellerby said Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSCFT) has now settled a legal action and he has received an apology for failings that it has admitted, although the trust does not admit that these failings caused Andrew's death.

Trust chief executive Kevan Taylor said: "We would like to, once again, offer our sincere condolences to the family of Mr Bellerby."

He confirmed that an internal investigation highlighted ”some areas where the delivery of care could be improved“ and all actions identified in the wake of this have now been completed.

Mr Taylor said: ”While we are unable to comment on individual cases, I can confirm that the investigation findings and recommendations were shared with Mr Bellerby's family.

“We would like to reiterate our apology to them for the areas of poor practice identified by the investigation.”

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