Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Investigation by Health Chiefs after Grim Discovery

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Investigation by Health Chiefs after Grim Discovery

Article excerpt

Byline: Rachel Wearmouth Reporter rachel.wearmouth@ncjmedia.co.uk

HEALTH chiefs have launched an investigation into the death of a former football agent in a mental health clinic stairwell.

Gary Smith, one-time agent for former Toon star Nobby Solano, was found in the fire escape at the Hadrian Clinic, on Newcastle's West Road, on Friday April 26.

The grim discovery came around three weeks after the Wideopen family man had been missing for a similar length of time.

He had last been seen on March 31 at the nearby Westgate Road.

Mr Smith was a voluntary patient at the clinic, on West Road, which cares for people with deteriorating mental health.

Northumbria Police carried out inquiries on behalf of the corner and now Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust has launched an internal investigation into the incident.

NTW Director of Nursing and Operations Gary O'Hare said: "Our thoughts remain with Mr Smith's family and friends. We are continuing to help the police in their investigation, as we have done from the start, and are now undertaking our own investigation to further assist the coroner and help us to understand what took place.

"Such investigations are normal practice across the NHS in circumstances such as these.

"Again, our deepest sympathies are with all those who knew Mr Smith and have been affected by his death.

"Although our investigation, and that of Northumbria Police, may offer little comfort, we hope it will provide some answers."

It comes after a series of incidents at trust-managed clinics in recent years.

It includes an internal investigation in 2011 at the then-named Roycroft Unit, at St Nicholas' Hospital in Gosforth, which saw three staff sacked and one redeployed after appalling psychological abuse came to light.

Questions were also raised when Phillip Westwater, branded the 'Black Dog Strangler' for his brutal murder of a man in Merseyside, was able to flee St Nicholas' in 2012. …

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