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

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

35 minutes ago

A murder investigation has been launched after a 19-year-old, believed to be from Camden, was found with fatal stab wounds in a Kensington street in the early hours on Sunday.

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Hampstead school table tennis team is going for glory after getting through to the finals of the table tennis national school team championships.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Melange, with locations in Barnet and Crouch End, has opened a third in Belsize Park. Here co-owner Justina Markauskaite talks about removing the borders between cuisines and why they put family at the centre of everything they do

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Friends of West Hampstead Library got a welcome anniversary gift when the councillor responsible for libraries told them further library closures would happen “over his dead body.”

Friday, February 16, 2018

A six-year-old girl from West Hampstead has started her own campaign to cut down on plastic waste.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Three schoolboys were robbed by two men with a knife in Swiss Cottage on Tuesday in the latest in a spate of muggings of young victims.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A politician being chased out of Sicily by the mafia isn’t unheard of. However there’s not many politicians in Camden who have shared new Conservative leader Gio Spinella’s experience in Palermo.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

An 18-year-old man has been stabbed in an attack in West Hampstead.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Melange, with locations in Barnet and Crouch End, has opened a third in Belsize Park. Here co-owner Justina Markauskaite talks about removing the borders between cuisines and why they put family at the centre of everything they do

Less is More, a group exhibition at the Daniel Raphael Gallery will feature emerging artists from England, Italy, France and the Czech Republic, from January 24 to February 16.

For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now