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 ArchiveThe 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

10:41

Keir Starmer has said the government’s approach to Universal Credit is similar to the “hostile environment” policy that led to the Windrush scandal.

56 minutes ago

A Cumbrian couple have been left scared for their property after receiving a bailiff’s letter demanding council tax for a Maida Vale property they have no connection to.

12:26

Barnet Council has apologised to residents after bungled changes to bin collections saw households going nearly two weeks without having them emptied

Yesterday, 16:30

The Phoenix Cinema will hold a meeting on fundraising for the historic cinema this weekend.

Yesterday, 13:14

A special interfaith Remembrance Sunday parade in Highgate saw attendees from across faiths and generations join together to pay their respects to those who fought and died in the First World War.

Yesterday, 11:59

Camden Council has backed calls for a second referendum on Brexit, with councillors overwhelmingly supporting a motion last night.

Yesterday, 11:21

A charity café in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park run by the Camden Society has been lauded for its inclusivity and work in the community.

Yesterday, 10:42

Mitzvah Day organisers are encouraging everyone to volunteer for a good cause on Sunday – so the Ham&High got into the spirit by helping out a group of heroes who give supplies and friendship to homeless people every week.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

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