Family anguish after Long Eaton man's drug overdose death — (Nottingham Post)

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Sean Edson, 51 (Derbyshire). Overdose of Venlafaxine & Quetiapine

By Nottingham Post | Posted: January 09, 2014

By Caroline Jones

THE sister of a 51-year-old man found dead at his home after taking fatal levels of prescription drugs told an inquest he was a “broken” man after being discharged from a mental health unit.

Julie Roche claimed that, in the weeks before his death, Sean Edson, of Long Eaton, was in the worst state she had seen him since he was diagnosed with mental health problems at the age of 22.

An inquest into his death heard how, in January last year, he was voluntarily admitted to the Radbourne Unit, at Royal Derby Hospital, after his stepbrother died of cancer.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Ritu Gupta told Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner’s Court how Mr Edson was discharged in March and considered to be at low risk of suicide.

She said a plan was put in place for him to be monitored more closely at home.

But, despite Mr Edson attending several appointments with mental health staff after his discharge, he was found dead at his home in Co-operative Street in April.

Although staff at Derbyshire Healthcare said they were “shocked” by his death, Mrs Roche told the inquest she felt more could have been done to help her brother.

His family said they had also instructed medical law experts to look into his care. Mrs Roche told the inquest: “He came out of the Radbourne Unit a broken man – he needed more care, not less care.”

The inquest heard how Mr Edson was told in the 1980s he had schizo-affective disorder – which can result in disordered thought processes and fluctuating moods.

In the past, he had been treated with medication and some hospital admissions but was prone to suicidal thoughts. But Dr Gupta said, because of the way Mr Edson had been behaving, she undertook a review of his medical history before his death.

The court told how psychiatric lead nurse Andy Glaves arranged to see Mr Edson ten days after his discharge from the Radbourne Unit, but this was postponed because Mr Glaves was on sick leave.

In the meantime, he was visited by a crisis team from the trust after his family raised concerns about his condition.

Mrs Roche told the court this was because her mother had seen bruises and marks on Mr Edson’s wrists which looked like they had been made by a blunt knife.

She said friends had also seen him walking around Long Eaton looking “dishevelled”.

But Mr Glaves told the inquest he was in contact several times with Mr Edson after this and before his death, both in person and on the phone – including four days before he was found.

Consultant histopathologist Gurprit Atwal said the cause of death was venlafaxine and quetiapine poisoning – two drugs prescribed to Mr Edson for his condition.

Assistant coroner Paul McCandless adjourned the inquest until next week, when he plans to sum up the evidence and return his conclusion in a written report.

After yesterday’s hearing, Mrs Roche said: “The impact of Sean’s death on our family has been devastating. When he was well, Sean lived a happy and full life and we have such wonderful memories of him.”