Inquest hears man jumped from bridge after nine months waiting for NHS help

Richard Dye lived in Beighton Road in Acle

Richard Dye lived in Beighton Road in Acle - Credit: Anthony Carroll

A man who jumped to his death from a road bridge over the A47 had been on a waiting list for mental health therapy for nine months, an inquest heard.

Richard Dye, of Beighton Road, Acle, had a history of psychotic illness and had twice contacted the crisis team in the days before his death on December 14, 2021.

An inquest heard the 61-year-old lived a relatively independent life at home with his mother and had some periods of wellness.

However, his mental health had deteriorated and he had been having "paranoid thoughts"  and was worried something might happen to his elderly mother, who died not long after him.

Mr Dye jumped from the road bridge over the A47 onto the carriageway in the early hours of December 14 and was struck by at least one vehicle.

The inquest heard he had called the crisis helpline on December 11 and 13 and had spoken of jumping from a road bridge to his GP the day before he died.

He had been on a waiting list for mental health treatment since March 2021, and while the inquest heard there had been some contact with clinicians and that it was a managed waiting list, he had not been assigned a named professional.

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The inquest at Norfolk Coroner's Court on Monday, August 1 heard from the two people who took calls from him on the crisis line.

Regarding the first call on Saturday December 11 at 6.20pm he was advised to contact his GP and an email was sent to the community team flagging his need for support. 

On Monday December 13 at around 7am he was described as sounding anxious and talking quickly but the assistant practitioner said her note was incomplete due to the pressure of time and the volume of calls.

He was again encouraged to see his GP, which he did, and an appointment with the community team was being arranged for the next day.

Giving a narrative verdict the assistant coroner Catherine Wood said Mr Dye died as a consequence of his own actions during a deterioration in his mental health whilst on a waiting list for psychological support.

She said she was satisfied changes had been made to ensure important information was captured and documented when people made contact with the NHS trust.