Man killed by train at Finsbury Park had asked for help just two days earlier
PUBLISHED: 16:11 04 December 2013 | UPDATED: 17:16 04 December 2013
A man who died after being hit by a train at Finsbury Park had asked to be taken to hospital two days earlier but no beds were available, an inquest heard.
Anthony Quigley, who had made two attempts to take his own life since 2010, told a community care co-ordinator he had thought about running in front of a car or jumping off a bridge on August 8 last year.
But despite the care co-ordinator referring Mr Quigley, 53, for assessment on August 9 – which found he should be admitted – he was never taken to St Ann’s Hospital, in Tottenham, because there was a lack of beds.
St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Quigley, who lived with his father Patrick and younger brother Stephen in Elder Avenue, Crouch End, was killed the next morning when he was hit by a northbound Victoria Line train at 8.44am.
Ernest Ossei, a nurse who helped assess Mr Quigley the day before his death, told the inquest: “At the assessment it was decided that Mr Quigley should be admitted [to hospital].
“I filled in the assessment form and handed it over to the two senior nurses and I therefore had no responsibility regarding what happened the next morning.”
Mr Ossei would usually have continued to work as part of the assessment team for the rest of the day, but said that, as a result of a staff shortage, he had been transferred to the treatment team.
He told the court: “I should have stayed, but due to staffing levels, I couldn’t. I should have refused, but I couldn’t because the job had to be done.
“I’m so sorry about what has happened. I apologise about what has happened. I’m so sorry.”
Mr Quigley was described as suffering from schizophrenia, depression, insomnia and obsessive thoughts, the most dominant of which was the recurring fear that his family would be taken away from him.
He had been in regular contact with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust since August 2011 and was admitted to Whittington Hospital in early 2012 after he tried to electrocute himself.
Mary Fayley, the community care co-ordinator who referred Mr Quigley after the visit on August 8, said: “On the day, I thought the immediate risk of suicide was low … I did think that Anthony was a high risk, given his past, but I thought that, with the right help, he would be OK.
“He seemed to be calmer and content once we discussed the plan of him being assessed and taken to hospital. He said he would go back to bed for the rest of the day and that he felt safe in the house.”
The inquest is expected to conclude tomorrow (Thursday).