Birmingham & Black Country

Dr's suicide after West Midlands Ambulance Service 'failed'

Dr Carl McQueen Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Dr Carl McQueen felt unsupported at work, the inquest heard

An "outstanding" young doctor took his own life after West Midlands Ambulance Service failed to follow its own guidelines, an inquest has ruled.

Dr Carl McQueen, 34, said he felt "unsupported" whilst working for the organisation.

He hanged himself in his grandfather's shed in Solihull after attending a patient who died, the inquest heard.

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) accepted that it should have given him more support.

Dr Mcqueen, who was staying in Solihull at the time, had confided to his supervisor, Dr Nicholas Crombie, in June last year that he was unhappy with the way he was being treated.

Colleagues had left chicken bones in his cup and left remarks on the rota next to his name. One had verbally abused him.

Dr Crombie said that the father of two was desperate not to complain because his PhD depended on data from the ambulance service.

"Finances and work life balance" were additional issues in his life, he said.

They agreed that he should be taken off active duty. He was later brought back under supervision before being allowed to fly solo.

On 30 December, a patient suffered a cardiac arrest after being treated by Dr McQueen. Rather than begin a formal investigation, a decision was taken to wait for a post mortem report, the coroner, Louise Hunt, was told.

Dr Mcqueen was advised by Dr Crombie on 11 February that it was being classed as a "serious incident".

He took his life the following day.

An independent investigation by Tracy Nicholls from East of England Ambulance Service found that policies and processes had not been followed by WMAS.

The supervision of doctors is now included within WMAS's ambit.

Steve Wheaton for WMAS said: "The death of Dr Mcqueen has had a profound effect on the way the trust views support for the doctors who work with and alongside us.

"The circumstances surrounding Carl's death have resulted in a huge amount of reflection. The trust fully accepts the findings of the independent review."