Fake psychiatrist 'did not contribute' to Suffolk man's death

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Darren King
Image caption,
Darren King, 31, from Suffolk, drowned in his bath after suffering a seizure last year

A fake psychiatrist did not contribute to the death of a patient she treated prior to his death, an inquest heard.

Darren King, 31, drowned in the bath after having an epileptic fit at his flat in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Zholia Alemi, who practised for 22 years with no qualifications, saw Mr King twice between 2014 and 2015.

A coroner ruled Mr King's death on 9 April 2017 was accidental but potentially preventable.

Mr King's family had voiced concerns about Alemi after she refused to complete a safety assessment and believed she contributed to his death.

Senior coroner for Suffolk, Nigel Parsley, said she was "one of a number of psychiatrists" who saw Mr King but expert reviews of Alemi's treatment "could not identify an act or omission that led directly to Darren's death".

Alemi worked for mental health services provider the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) between April 2014 and April 2015.

Mr King was one of her patients who received care in the community.

She was jailed for five years for fraud in 2018 after changing a patient's will to benefit herself.

Image source, Cumbria Police
Image caption,
Zholia Alemi faked her medical degree when she came to the UK in the 1990s

Mr Parsley said Mr King had an "identified poor record for attending medical and social care meetings" but that a worsening of this "coincided with staff changes".

'High risk'

His last contact with his NSFT care co-ordinator was in June 2016, and he last saw his GP in September 2016.

Mr Parsley said the "lack of contact" meant there was no chance to review his treatment or "effectively monitor his seizure history".

"Had opportunities to provide adequate monitoring and treatment relating to Darren's epilepsy been taken, then his death may have been prevented," he said.

The inquest heard Mr King had been advised to take showers rather than to have a bath due to his epilepsy, but that due to his autism he "did not like the way the shower felt".

The coroner concluded Mr King's death was accidental following a seizure in the bath.

A prevention of future deaths report was ordered because of "a lack of effective follow-up" for a "high risk" patient.

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