Relapse in Risk Management System Claims the Life of Robertson

by Medindia Content Team on  March 23, 2006 at 2:13 PM Mental Health News   - G J E 4
Relapse in Risk Management System Claims the Life of Robertson
This report mainly brings to the notice of the common man that how official failings led to a man being bludgeoned to death by a psychiatric patient with a history of violence. Stuart Robertson was killed by James Smith, who was on conditional discharge from Leverndale Hospital in Glasgow, in October 2004. This report mainly gives us an insight of how there was no systematic approach to risk assessment.

There was a failure to respond adequately to clear signs that Smith's mental illness had relapsed while he was in the care of community-based mental health services. This report was by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland. It asks for a series of changes to be implemented by the Scottish Executive, NHS Greater Glasgow and social work chiefs in Glasgow. Smith, 46, had suffered mental problems since 1991. He was jailed for life in Glasgow in November after he admitted the homicide of Mr Robertson.

He had killed Mr Robertson, who also had a history of mental illness, by bludgeoning him to death with a hammer in Pollok Park, Glasgow. The report said that Smith's condition had relapsed in the summer of 2004 but there was no systematic approach to risk assessment in his care and supervision, and an inadequate focus by some of those involved in his care. There was no satisfactory strategy planned to deal with any relapse in his illness.

In the months before the killing he showed signs of relapse but was not recalled to hospital. The Executive, NHS Greater Glasgow and Glasgow City Council acknowledged it had identified weaknesses as the basic risk management was not proper. The deputy health minister, Lewis Macdonald, said that all steps to address the deficiencies identified are being done and the public need not worry about it.


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