Gamlins lawyer slams BCU for repeated failures

A clinical negligence lawyer has criticised a North Wales health board for “not learning lessons” in almost a decade.

Sally Richards, a lawyer with Gamlins Law, spoke out after the inquest into the death of David Wyn Jones, from Anglesey, who took his own life in October 2022 following alleged missed opportunities by the Community Mental Health Team. The team is under the authority of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

At the inquest into the 48-year-old father-of-five’s death, the coroner’s narrative said: “David Wyn Jones died on 25 October 2022 at Parys Mountain, Penysarn, having inflicted injuries upon himself.

“At this time, his mental state was likely impaired by fluctuation of psychotic episodes. It cannot therefore be said that he intended to end his life at this time.

“He was under the Community Mental Health Team where there were missed opportunities to fully understand, appreciate and record his condition which were not fully undertaken and missed opportunities to consider admitting him on or after October 13, 2022.”

Sally has represented and continues to represent families who have lost loved ones through failings on the part of the BCU Health Board. They include Michael Bryn Jones, 39, from Llandudno, who disappeared on April 3, 2016, after going to the door of the Hergest unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor. He was found in woodland on June 21.

An inquest into Mr Jones’ death heard he had been a patient at the Hergest unit until a few days before his disappearance and continued to suffer anxiety and paranoia after he left hospital.

He turned up at the unit in the early hours of April 3 and was sent to the accident and emergency department but left without booking in or speaking to anyone.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, the coroner said: “There should have been more effort to persuade [Mr Jones] to come into the Hergest unit for a full assessment of his condition. He went to that unit looking for help, and he didn’t get it.”

The Gamlins Law team has vast experience acting for clients in their clinical negligence claims against Betsi Cadwaladr and other trusts.

Sally said: “It is extremely sad that the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board continues to make mistakes almost a decade after the case of Michael Bryn Jones.

“Lessons have clearly not been learnt as we continue to see cases in which the Hergest unit and Community Mental Health Team are still not providing the required level of help and support.”

Gamlins Law employs over 80 people including several Welsh speakers, across its six offices in North Wales in Rhyl, Mold, Ruthin, Denbigh, Abergele and Holywell.

The personal injury and clinical negligence department is currently acting for over 100 clients in North Wales and elsewhere in the UK on claims ranging from a few thousand pounds to over £20million.

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