Belfast Telegraph

Concerns aired before suicide bid

By Aisling Scally

A drug outreach worker said he raised concerns with staff at Belfast’s Mater Hospital about the mental health of patient Christopher Boyle before he plunged to his death from a window in 2008, an inquest heard.

Iain Cameron told the court that he rang the hospital after Mr Boyle’s aunt Helen Quigley told him she was worried about her nephew's mental state.

He said he spoke with a staff nurse about her concerns that her nephew was suicidal, adding that Mr Boyle had not collected his methadone prescription for weeks due to paranoia.

“The staff nurse told me he hadn't been assessed by a psychiatrist and that she wasn't sure if he would be,” said Mr Cameron.

“She said she would make a record of my call and leave a note for whoever was on duty the following day.”

Mr Boyle (44) jumped out of the window shortly after being told he was discharged from the hospital on December 16, 2008. He was admitted after a fire in his flat. He had a history of drug and alcohol addiction, as well as suspected mental health problems.

Mr Cameron told the court that he had known and worked with Christopher Boyle for “five or six years” before he died, adding: “Sometimes he appeared depressed or anxious, others he was stable.” The window Mr Boyle jumped out of was fitted with a temporary repair screw within 15 minutes of the accident. The inquest was told this compromised the police investigation.

Belfast Telegraph

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