A MENTAL health worker said she made an error of judgment over the care of a patient who killed himself.
But registered social worker Yvonne Hales told an inquest she had acted in good faith at all times.
As a result of the evidence put before him, North East Wales coroner John Gittins has decided to compile a report for the prevention of future deaths highlighting concerns in mental health procedures.
The Wrexham inquest heard Spencer Lee Slawson, 37, of Cemetery Road Rhos, was suffering from mental illness.
On March 27, Ms Hales had been part of an assessment panel deciding whether Mr Slawson should be sectioned into a care unit.
After talking with Mr Slawson, Ms Hales felt she would prefer to have more time to make a decision.
As a result, Mr Slawson was able to live at home for the time being and avoid being sectioned. The next day he killed himself.
The inquest was told that before the assessment had started, Ms Hales and her colleagues had been warned by Mr Slawson’s wife, Linda Samuels, that he might try to deceive them into thinking his state of mind was stronger than it actually was.
Ms Hales told the hearing: “I made an error of judgment in good faith.”
Earlier in the proceedings Mr Gittins asked Ms Hales: “Looking back on this and what he did the following day. Did he pull the wool over your eyes?”
Ms Hales replied: “I don’t know. I feel uncertain as to whether Mr Slawson was planning at that stage to take his life or not.”
Under questioning from Mr Gittins, Ms Hales explained her professional point of view.
From her perspective she felt there had been positive engagement with Mr Slawson and he genuinely wanted to talk.
During the hearing Mrs Samuels reiterated to Ms Hales she had urged the panel to be on their guard against deception by her husband.
Ms Hales responded: “I do understand where you are coming from. It is my job to make an objective assessment and protect the rights of patients.”
Mr Slawson died at Wrexham Maelor Hospital after harming himself in the bathroom of his home. A post-mortem examination by Dr Anthony Burdge found he died of haemorrhaging caused by multiple lacerations.
Mrs Samuels said she had made strenuous efforts to ensure her husband did not have access to sharp objects at home.
Mr Gittins said convening of assessment panels and the fullness of medical notes were two areas he would be raising in his report.
The inquest had heard members of the panel assessing Mr Slawson were not aware of each other’s expertise and experience.
Concern was also raised over medical notes which failed to highlight Mr Slawson was not taking his prescribed medication. Comprehensive notes could have led to Mr Slawson being sectioned at an earlier date.
Mr Gittins stressed the inquest was not a device for deciding if anyone was at fault.
“It is not about apportioning blame,” he said. “This is about fact finding.”
Mr Gittins concluded Mr Slawson harmed himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed and died as a result of his injuries.