SERIOUS failings contributed to the death of a man at Basildon Hospital after he took his own life despite being under the care of a psychiatric team.

Michael Nolan, 63, took his own life while he was an inpatient at the hospital under the care of the Essex Partnership University Trust psychiatric team.

The 63-year-old had worked as a warehouse operator and was a member of the working men’s club for more than 30 years but, started showing signs of poor mental health following his mum’s death.

In June 2022, he attempted to take his own life and was subsequently taken to Basildon Hospital, where he was detained under the Mental Health Act under the care of the Essex Partnership University Trust.

Just weeks later, on July 10, Michael was found unresponsive and not breathing by staff.

An inquest into his death at Essex Coroners’ Court, conducted by coroner Sean Horstead, saw the jury deliver a narrative verdict which found that there were “serious failures” regarding patient observation.

The jury also highlighted that “if the observations and engagements had been carried out correctly, there may have been a different outcome”.

James Nolan, Michael’s son, said: “I am grateful for the outcome of my father’s inquest. I have been in a state of shock since his passing. He should not have been able to take his own life whilst he was under EPUT’s care. He was meant to be in the safest possible place for him, and yet, he has been taken from us.

“I have lost faith in EPUT as an institution, and I hope that my father’s case will be a stark reminder of how bad things are and how much work needs to be done.”

During his time in the Kelvedon ward at Basildon Hospital, staff characterised Michael as “very happy” and “chirpy”, just hours before his death.

In response, Ann Sheridan, chief nurse for Essex Partnership University NHS Trust, said: “I am sorry for the mistakes that were made in caring for Michael and offer my deepest sympathies to his loved ones at this very sad time.

“In the time since this tragic incident, we have taken immediate action to strengthen our response to emergency situations on our wards and enhance resuscitation training and support for clinical staff.”