Kent

NHS payout over Peter Franklin M20 bridge-jump death

Peter Franklin Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Peter Franklin went to hospital five times in one day but was sent home and then jumped to his death

The widow of a mentally-ill man who killed himself after asking for help five times in one day, has received a £20,000 payout from two NHS trusts.

Peter Franklin attended A&E five times on 19 August 2013 but was sent home. He then jumped off a motorway bridge.

Lawyers said he also sought help twice that day from mental health teams.

Mr Franklin died "in a state of despair". Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS, and Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership have both apologised.

A lawyer for the family, Nick Fairweather, said the case had been settled and both trusts had admitted failings.

Mr Franklin's widow, Lynne Franklin, of Meopham, said she now wanted to campaign in her husband's name and memory to improve mental health provision.

She has called for a psychiatric liaison officer to be made available at all A&E units to help the emergency services and anyone who presents with mental illness.

Image caption Mrs Franklin and her daughter Katie Franklin said the pain would never go away

Mrs Franklin said she believed that had such an officer been in place to help her husband, who died aged 67, he would still be alive today.

Instead he jumped off a bridge on to the M20 in Kent.

'Ripped away'

His daughter, Katie Franklin, said the family's pain would never go away.

"I had a conversation with my sister the other day and I said, 'You guys are so lucky you've had your dad walk you down the aisle.

"'You've had your dad see your children, his grandchildren, be born and grow up a little bit. That's all been ripped away from me.'"

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Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Both trusts have apologised

A spokesman for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS said: "We have actively fostered closer working relationships with our partner healthcare organisations and make every effort possible to ensure our processes of communication with them are robust, thorough and effective."

At Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership, a spokesman said: "After the sad death of Peter, an internal investigation was carried out and action taken.

"We improved processes that address the identification and management of risk across the 24-hour period."

Both trusts said they again offered their sincerest condolences.

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