North East Wales

Psychiatric patient 'died after being released too early'

Matthew Williams Image copyright Mandy Williams
Image caption Matthew Jones was being treated for alcoholism and depression

A Denbighshire man who died weeks after being released from a psychiatric unit was not fit to leave, his mother has said.

Matthew Jones, 34, was found dead at his flat in Rhyl in April.

He had been treated for alcoholism and depression at the Ablett Unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital. The cause of his death has not yet been established.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) said it would be carrying out a review of Mr Jones' care.

Mandy Williams said there had been problems with her son's treatment on the unit and that she was speaking out to help other families.

She claimed he had to sleep on a sofa when no beds were available and conditions were sometimes dirty.

"My son was unwell and he was in hospital to have help but he was sleeping on the sofa," she said.

"He told me someone had wet themselves on it and they'd just dried it with a cloth, they hadn't scrubbed it."

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Media captionMandy Williams said her son did not get the help he needed

Mrs Williams said Matthew was at one stage discharged into accommodation above a pub in Rhyl.

"He never stopped drinking that week," she said. "Why did they put him above a pub, someone with a problem with alcohol?" she told BBC Wales Today.

"On the Friday night, I had a phone call saying he'd tried to take his own life. I met him in the hospital and he was drunk and had taken an overdose."

Mr Jones was readmitted to the Ablett Unit, to be released a few days later.

His mother said the day before his final release, he had been under observations every 15 minutes because of concerns about self-harm.

"I knew he wasn't ready to come out. Everyone who knew Matthew knew he wasn't ready," Mrs Williams added.

"He was crying out for help and they let him down."

Image caption Mr Jones was housed in a room above a pub by Denbighshire social services

Mr Jones died around three weeks after being released from hospital.

The Ablett Unit was home to the Tawel Fan ward which closed in 2013. A report found some patients were treated "like animals".

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the quality of care on the scandal-hit ward for dementia patients may have contributed to at least seven deaths.

A spokesman for the health board, which was placed in special measures in 2015, said it would be carrying out a review of the care provided to Mr Jones "as is routine following the sudden death of any of our service users".

"We fully consult with service users on the care they receive in times of crisis, and always look to act in their best interest to provide a safe, appropriate location in which to receive care and support."

He added that Mrs Williams had been invited to contribute to the review and asked to contact the health board so a meeting with senior staff could be arranged.

A spokesman for Denbighshire council said Mr Jones had been put in accommodation above a pub because it was the "only available room in the county at the time" and that a risk assessment had been carried

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