Singer Will Young questions why tragic brother not assessed by psychiatrist
Singer Will Young has questioned why his twin brother was not assessed by a consultant psychiatrist when he was admitted to hospital after trying to take his own life, just days before his death.
Rupert Young, 41, died after jumping from a bridge in London on July 30 last year, an inquest heard.
His death came just days after he was admitted to Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital on July 28, when he had been seen walking along the edge of a bridge in the capital.
St Pancras Coroner’s Court in north London was told he had been admitted to hospital four times in the week prior to his death, as he struggled with alcoholism and his mental health.
He was trying to avoid homelessness and told hospital staff that he had been attempting to contact his father for a place to stay before leaving the hospital without telling anyone, the inquest heard.
Senior coroner Mary Hassell gave a ruling of suicide at a hearing on Monday, finding that Rupert had intended to take his own life.
Following the conclusion of the inquest, Pop Idol winner Will Young said it had been a difficult time for himself and his family.
“Those working within the NHS do an amazing job under very difficult circumstances,” he told reporters.
“And it’s never been more hard-pressed than at the moment, of course.
“However, my brother is someone who had, in the months and weeks before his death, been into hospital on countless times following suicide attempts.”
Young said he was “astounded” that his brother had been allowed to leave hospital two days after his suicide attempt without being referred to a consultant psychiatrist.
“It is my belief that it must, or should have, been obvious to all concerned that he was at high risk of suicide and should have been detained under the Mental Health Act for his own safety,” he said.
“Had this been done, he might still be alive today.
“I know we are not the only family in this situation and I pray that lessons are learned from this situation and that some of these deaths are prevented in the future.”
The final day of the inquest heard that a report written by a mental health nurse and a doctor found no recommendations in terms of Rupert’s care.
Steven Badger, mental health nurse and clinical service lead for Crisis at Lambeth Hospital, said that the care Rupert received had been “appropriate”, adding that he had been “struck” by how “committed” staff had been.
Mr Badger said that the report found that Rupert did not discharge himself nor was he discharged, but instead left the hospital without telling anyone.
During cross-examination, Young stood up and asked the witness a number of questions himself regarding the care of his brother, including whether he should have been assessed by a junior or consultant psychiatrist.
“The psychiatrist would not need to see everyone coming through the emergency department,” Mr Badger responded.
Earlier on Monday, Dennis Mupita, a psychiatric liaison nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, who spoke to Rupert in the hours before he left the hospital, said he had denied help from the homelessness team.
Mr Mupita said the 41-year-old appeared “calm” and that he had not expressed any suicidal thoughts, adding: “There were no triggers or red flags that made me feel to go and ask these specific questions.”
Gudrun Young, representing the family, but of no relation, asked Mr Mupita if Rupert was going to be discharged from hospital due to a lack of bed space.
But Mr Mupita denied this was the case and said that Rupert would have been permitted to stay for another night on the inpatient ward if he had not absconded.
Rupert’s cause of death was given as immersion at the inquest – which opened in December.
Giving her condolences to the family, coroner Ms Hassell said: “I find on this occasion the action he took must have had with it the intention to take his life.”