A MAN who died after being found unconscious at Rochford Hospital was on a low observation level despite previously attempting to take his own life, an inquest heard.

Steven Adams, 42, from Westcliff, was reported missing on October 19. He was found in his car by police the following day and taken to the hospital, which specialises in mental health.

He refused to stay voluntarily - prompting doctors to section him under the Mental Health Act.

Mr Adams, who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder, was found unconscious in his room on October 22.

He was taken to Southend Hospital, where he died two days later. An inquest at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court heard that a post mortem gave the cause of death as asphyxiation due to hanging.

The court, overseen by senior coroner for Essex Caroline Beasely Murray, heard that Mr Adams had previously attempted to take his own life during his short stay at the hospital.

Kayleigh Lawrence, a support worker at Rochford Hospital, in Union Lane, took part in observations of Mr Adams when he first arrived at the unit and was placed in suite 136 for initial assessment.

Mr Adams was put on level two observation - the second lowest. It meant five checks per hour were carried out at irregular intervals.

On the higher two levels, patients are observed around the clock, either within eyesight or arms reach.

Ms Lawrence said: “Between 9am and 10am he became agitated and was pacing the room. His mood was fluctuating.

“I spent some time with him and he was talking about having flashbacks and hearing voices.

“He said they wouldn’t stop until he killed himself and that he wanted to kill himself.”

She immediately informed the site manager - but by the time she returned Mr Adams was already attempting to take his own life.

On this occasion, he was transferred to the Cedar Ward - which has beds for 24 adult patients.

It was while on this ward that Mr Adams was found unconscious.

Ms Lawrence was questioned about the handover between the team on suite 136 and the team on Cedar Ward - but said she couldn’t remember much of the conversation. She insisted that his attempt to kill himself had been passed onto the new team. While in Cedar Ward, Mr Adams was again on level two observation.

The inquest into his death continues.