Antony Weatherill had been detained under the Mental Health Act at The Harbour in Blackpool
A man died after choking on food while a patient at a secure mental health unit in Blackpool.
Antony Weatherill, who had previously been diagnosed with schizophrenia, had been detained under the Mental Health Act and was an inpatient at The Harbour in Blackpool; a 154-bed purpose-built hospital which opened in 2015 as a flagship facility for Lancashire.
The 54-year-old was a patient on the Orwell Ward when he began choking on his food at lunchtime on April 30 of this year. The mental health wards accommodate patients from the age of 18 experiencing an acute mental illness requiring inpatient care.
A pre-inquest review held at Blackpool Town Hall today (September 9) heard that Antony was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital at 2pm on April 30. He died the following day with pathologist Dr Mark Sissons giving the medical cause of death as hypoxic brain injury caused by blockage of the airway by food.
The brief hearing heard that Antony had a history of cerebral infarction, a type of stroke, in which damage is caused to tissues in the brain due to a loss of oxygen. Senior Coroner Alan Wilson requested to hear evidence relating to whether or not this resulted in Antony being susceptible to choking.
The coroner said: “This man, 54, had been a patient at The Harbour in Blackpool on the Orwell Ward. He has a previous diagnosis of schizophrenia and had been detained under the Mental Health Act.
“On April 30 he had been admitted to hospital after a reported cardiac arrest and he may have choked on some food. This was unwitnessed and he was found collapsed.
“The ambulance service transported him to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and he passed away on May 1.”
An investigation is ongoing at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, which runs The Harbour, regarding the circumstances leading up to Antony’s death. The investigation is expected to conclude at the end of this month.
A final inquest, due to last one day, is due to take place following the conclusion of the trust’s investigation. The hearing is likely to take place in January.
- 05:10, 12 SEP 2022