Search

Dominic White: Coroner slams Whittington Hospital over care of man who fled A&E before falling to his death

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:30 15 August 2017

Dominic White. Picture: Met Police

Dominic White. Picture: Met Police

Archant

A coroner has criticised the Whittington Hospital over its care of a young father who fled A&E before falling to his death.

The Whittington Hospital in Archway. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Archive The Whittington Hospital in Archway. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Archive

A police missing persons hunt was launched after Dominic White ran away from the Archway hospital in November.

The 27-year-old, who had bipolar affective disorder and psychosis, had been well but was sectioned under the Mental Health Act when his condition rapidly deteriorated in the days before his death.

The security guard, from Crouch End, walked out of A&E on November 9 before he could be moved to a specialist mental health unit.

His body was discovered at an electricity substation the next day.

St Pancras coroner Mary Hassell has issued a prevention of future deaths report amid concerns over monitoring of A&E patients at The Whittington.

It reveals Mr White was allowed to leave the hospital to visit McDonald’s on the day he absconded. He returned only to run out again 30 minutes later and never came back.

The coroner said allowing leave after he had been sectioned was “a very unusual step”.

"I am concerned at the lack of recognition, even so long after the event, that allowing a person to leave the hospital in these circumstances was not necessarily the right [step]"

Coroner Mary Hassell

“I am concerned at the lack of recognition, even so long after the event, that allowing a person to leave the hospital in these circumstances was not necessarily the right [step],” she said in the report.

It also says Mr White’s return within half an hour may have “lulled others into a false sense of security about the risk of absconding” and the decision by a mental health worker to authorise leave should have been discussed with a colleague.

The coroner said observations of mental health patients at The Whittington’s A&E are now clearly documented. But she was “not sure robust protocol” is in place to ensure all hospital employees, including doctors, nurses and security officers, are aware of this.

A spokeswoman for The Whittington offered “deepest condolences” to Mr White’s family and said a full investigation was conducted following his tragic death.

She said: “We have already taken significant steps to ensure that we learn from the important lessons identified from Mr White’s death.

“The care and safety of our patients remains our first priority and we have already put into place a number of extra measures to protect vulnerable patients when they arrive.”

A jury at St Pancras Coroner’s Court identified a series of failings by mental health services over the care of Mr White following an inquest into his death in May.

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

41 minutes ago

A Holloway Road institution will be shutting forever in the New Year.

10:21

An Islington man has been found guilty for his part in 17 moped smash and grab raids on mobile phone stores.

Yesterday, 16:14

Two moped thugs from Islington have been locked up for more than three years after being chased and caught with 17 stolen phones.

Lee Jay Hatley’s alleged murderer accidentally knifed him in a “scuffle”, a court heard today.

Yesterday, 12:49

Migrants who arrive in Islington face a daunting prospect: mountains of government paperwork in a language they often aren’t familiar with; a ban on getting certain state benefits; and no legal help.

Yesterday, 11:50

Two homeless women who had been sleeping under the Stroud Green Road bridge for a year have been offered housing – weeks after the Gazette published the tragic stories of how they had ended up there.

Yesterday, 11:43

Dozens of new council homes were unveiled on Finsbury’s King Square Estate yesterday as part of a major regeneration.

Yesterday, 10:17

Islington is notorious for brutally high rent. But a brilliant yoga centre for people with special needs has been given a brand new premises for just £1,000 a year.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now