Doctor had ‘no major concerns’ over Dundee dad Dale who died days later

Dale Thomson, who took his own life just days after leaving the Carseview Centre in Dundee.
Dale Thomson, who took his own life just days after leaving the Carseview Centre in Dundee.

A doctor said he had no “significant concerns” about a man who killed himself days after leaving a Dundee mental health facility.

Dr George Howson told a fatal accident inquiry into the death of Dale Thomson that the 28-year-old did not meet the criteria to be detained at the Carseview Centre.

Dale, of Charleston, was first admitted to the mental health centre on January 8 2015 but discharged himself two days later after becoming frustrated about what he felt was a lack of treatment.

He was again referred to the clinic on January 22 and after an appointment at Carseview the following day he was again allowed to leave.

Dale was found dead by his mum, Mandy McLaren, 49, in his home on January 27 that year — leaving behind a one-year-old daughter, Evi.

His family believe he should have been detained under the Mental Health Act and forced to stay at Carseview.

A fatal accident inquiry is being held at Dundee Sheriff Court to establish the circumstances surrounding Dale’s death.

Resuming after an adjournment earlier in the year, the inquiry heard from Dr Howson, 33, who was the consultant psychiatrist on call at Carseview on January 10.

He was called to the ward to see another patient but was approached by two concerned nurses who informed him about Dale’s intention to leave Carseview.

Dr Howson said it was up to the junior doctor on duty to deal with the situation.

The court heard claims that Dale had threatened to “burn houses down” and expressed suicidal thoughts while in Carseview.

Danny Devine, the solicitor representing Dale’s family at the inquiry, said: “Why did you not consider any follow-up care for Dale Thomson?”

Dr Howson replied: “Mr Thomson had been in the ward for 48 hours and there wasn’t any evidence of significant mood disorder so I did not have significant concerns about his condition that he needed a lot of care.

“In order for someone to benefit from follow-up care they would need to engage.”

Dr Howson said Dale did not meet the criteria for being detained in Carseview.

Mr Devine said: “When an individual such as Dale Thomson, who prior to taking his own discharge threatens to blow up people’s houses, blow up his own house, that would be a criteria to meet the Mental Health Act, wouldn’t it?”

Dr Howson replied: “People making threats doesn’t necessarily mean they are a significant risk.”

The inquiry continues.

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