Rebecca Handcock acts for local authority in inquest into death of 35-year-old man receiving mental health support

27 October 2023

Rebecca Handcock appeared for the local authority in an  inquest concerning a man (SHL) who took his own life in December 2022. At the time of his death, SHL was receiving mental health support from the local authority and an NHS Trust Community Mental Health team.

Background to the inquest

SHL had had mental health issues and was receiving support from the local authority’s adult social care department.

Coroner's decision

The coroner considered whether the joint working arrangements between the local authority and relevant NHS Trust’s Community Mental Health Team might have led to gaps in the care SHL received.

In particular, he looked at whether opportunities for mental health intervention had been missed because of resourcing issues.

However, following the full inquest hearing, the coroner recorded a conclusion of suicide. He stated that he could go as far as to say that the deceased’s death could not have been predicted or avoided.