- Bren McFarlane, 20, died in hospital four days after being found unresponsive
This is the shocking moment NHS nurses vaped, scrolled on their phones and plaited each other’s hair while a young man prepared to take his own life.
Bren McFarlane, 20, was found unresponsive less than 24 hours after arriving at The Harbour in Blackpool – a 154-bed mental health hospital which provides care and treatment for adults who cannot be safely treated at home.
CCTV footage of the nurses, released as part of an inquest into Mr McFarlane’s death, was captured while the young man was planning his suicide in October last year.
A jury ruled last month that Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust had neglected Mr McFarlane.
Blackpool’s Senior Coroner Alan Wilson has released some footage shown at the inquest to highlight the level of neglect the young man endured, ITVX reported.
Bren McFarlane, 20, was found unresponsive less than 24 hours after arriving at The Harbour in Blackpool
CCTV footage of nurses at Harbour was captured while Mr McFarlane was planning his suicide in October last year
The footage shows one nurse sat on a desk on her phone while another spends several minutes doing her colleague’s hair.
Mr McFarlane, who had a history of self-harm and suicide attempts, had spent three weeks on a waiting list for a mental health unit to become available after a psychiatrist requested an urgent placement at a ‘place of safety’.
Eventually, he was admitted to The Harbour on October 24 last year. Within 24 hours he was found unresponsive after self-harming.
Mr McFarlane, who grew up in Bacup in Rossendale, Lancashire, died in hospital four days later having been classified as Level 3 in terms of risk.
Jurors heard that although Mr McFarlane’s personal belongings had been recorded, he had managed to keep an item which was not logged on his admission to The Harbour.
For 20 minutes, during which time no observations of the young man were made, he used this item to create another which he then took to his en-suite bathroom to end his life.
CCTV footage covering around a one-hour period shows that staff two minutes and 54 seconds observing Mr McFarlane.
The young man went into his bathroom at 10.16am and was found unresponsive at 10.29am.
The footage shows one nurse sat on a desk on her phone while another spends several minutes doing her colleague’s hair
Mr McFarlane was admitted to The Harbour on October 24 last year. Within 24 hours he was found unresponsive after self-harming
Mr McFarlane self-harmed at The Harbour in Blackpool and was later taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where he died on October 29
He was resuscitated and rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Treatment was withdrawn when doctors realised he had suffered a brain stem death caused by a lack of oxygen.
In the trial, the jury said: ‘We say that on the balance of probabilities the care delivery issues more than minimally, trivially or negligibly caused or contributed to the death of Bren.’
In their conclusions, jurors explained the multiple failings which gave the young man the chance to take his own life.
Examples included how ‘the staff were distracted from their duties and were not exhibiting professional standards of behaviour’.
Chris Oliver, Chief Executive for Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘I extend my personal condolences on behalf of the Trust to Bren’s family for their loss and our thoughts remain with his family and friends.
‘Following Bren’s death, we undertook a comprehensive investigation, which identified failings in the delivery of our care, including environmental and estate issues.
‘The failings also included the conduct of a number of colleagues which fell below the professional standards that we expect and that the majority of our colleagues display every day.’
They added: ‘I wish to offer my unreserved apologies to Bren’s family on behalf of Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust.’