Inquest into Jeremy Head’s suicide at Wedgwood House, West Suffolk Hospital hears 999 details

PUBLISHED: 17:01 21 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:53 22 February 2017

Jeremy Head, who took his own life at mental health unit Wedgwood House, in Bury St Edmunds in 2014. Picture: Ashtons Legal

Jeremy Head, who took his own life at mental health unit Wedgwood House, in Bury St Edmunds in 2014. Picture: Ashtons Legal


An inquest into the death of a man found hanging at a mental health unit in Suffolk has heard about the desperate resuscitation attempts were made to save him.

Jeremy Head, 49, died in his room at Wedgwood House, run by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and based at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, on November 23, 2014.

In a statement read to the court by senior coroner Dr Peter Dean at yesterday’s hearing, the second day of the inquest in Ipswich, Alison Ashby, a senior clinical support worker at the Southgate Ward at Wedgwood House, said she heard an alarm sound while carrying out patient checks on the day of Mr Head’s death.

She ran to his room and found a colleague, named only as Luke, in the room. Mr Head was lowered to the floor and CPR attempts began after a “lot of fluid” was seen coming out of his mouth.

A line could be seen on his neck and a blue ribbon could be seen on the floor, the statement said.

A defibrillator was used, but it was unable to deliver a shock as it could not detect a heart rhythm.

Her colleague took over the CPR due to the “extremely tiring” physical exertion the CPR requires.

The “crash phone”, used to contact the emergency services, did not work for what seemed “an age”, later described as around a minute, Mrs Ashby’s statement said.

Giving evidence yesterday, she added: “You are hanging on and praying to get a response.”

She made contact through the hospital’s switchboard.

Two teams of paramedics arrived, but Mr Head was declared dead 90 minutes later.

The inquest was previously told Mr Head returned in 2014 to the UK from India, where he worked as a child psychologist for 11 years, to stay with his sister Joanna Clark in Bury St Edmunds due to physical wellbeing concerns.

He was diagnosed with conversion disorder, meaning the origin of his physical abdomen and bowel pain, which he was convinced would kill him, was considered psychological.

The inquest was also previously told that he was judged as a “low suicide risk” by Dr Jahed Shaik.

A post mortem examination confirmed the primary cause of Mr Head’s death was hanging, with his mental health problems and medical issues listed as contributory factors.

The hearing continues tomorrow.

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