"Suicide attempt left alone for hours... "

About: Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust Royal Blackburn Hospital

(as a relative),

My uncle had been suffering with his mental health for a few months, when he attempted suicide by slitting his wrists whilst home alone. After doing so, he panicked and called his crisis team who told him to phone an ambulance, which he did.

When he arrived at Royal Blackburn Hospital, he was taken to wait in the Urgent Care Centre (UCC) (alone), waiting to be triaged. When he was finally taken through to the treatment cubicles, and his wrist stitched up and dressed, a member of the crisis team he had called, came to see him and explained to him that a Psychologist was aware that he was in the UCC, and would call in shortly to talk to him about what he had done. He was then left alone in a curtained off cubicle, waiting for the doctor to arrive.

He arrived at the UCC at approx 2.15 in an afternoon, and the psychiatrist did not arrive to see him until 7.30pm!!! Thankfully, my uncles mother (my gran) arrived at some point during the afternoon to sit with him and go to the vending machines (which were in a whole other part of the building), as not one member of staff offered him a drink or anything to eat.

The biggest issue was - Why was he left alone in a curtained off area after a suicide attempt? I understand that the staff are busy and dont have time to sit with such patients, but why should it take all afternoon for a doctor to arrive in such a serious situation?

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Response from Sarah Jones

We are sorry that this has caused you distress. Lancashire Care provides a psychiatric liaison service within Blackburn Hospital, and we are concerned to hear about the delay your uncle experienced. We would like to look further into matter for you and would ask you to contact our complaints service on 01772 695315 or freephone 0808 1441010.

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