Staff at Dundee’s Carseview Centre ‘couldn’t have prevented suicide’ says nurse

Dale Thomson

A mental health nurse said herself and colleagues couldn’t have prevented the suicide of a Dundee man who was assessed at Carseview days before his death.

Dale Thomson, 28, was first admitted to the mental health centre on January 8, but voluntarily left on January 10.

He was again referred to the clinic on January 22 by his frustrated GP.

But after an appointment at Carseview the following day he was again allowed to leave.

Dale took his own life in his Charleston home on January 27 and now a fatal accident inquiry is under way to see if any lessons can be learned from his death.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard from mental health nurse Jill Durie, 45, who has worked at Carseview since around 2011.

She helped assess Dale on two occasions, including the last time he was referred to Carseview by his GP, five days before his death.

Despite hearing he still had suicidal thoughts, herself and Dr Arvind Gunput decided on that occasion that Dale did not need treatment at the hospital and he was told he could be referred to Addaction to help with his habit of two cannabis joints a day, but Dale told the staff he would sort that out himself.

They also told him to call NHS 24 if he was struggling with thoughts of suicide.

Fiscal depute Steven Quither asked when Ms Durie heard about Dale dying on January 27.

She said: “I was notified of it when I returned to duty.”

Mr Quither said: “How did you feel?”

She replied: “Obviously I was very saddened to hear that happened.”

Mr Quither then asked if she felt anything could have been done to prevent Dale’s suicide.

She said: “I was just saddened. I don’t think there was anything else clinically we could have done.”

The nurse also admitted to being “surprised” when she found out Dale had taken his own life.

Jillian Merchant, representing Ms Durie, then asked how Dale’s death had affected the nurse.

Welling up with tears, she said: “It’s had a lot of impact on my confidence and I have suffered anxiety since then.”

The nurse said she was currently not working because of the episode.

She added: “Just with the stress of this hearing and I’ve just not been able to cope with my work at the moment.”