A FATHER who was overcome with anxiety about relationships he had in his youth, hanged himself in the bathroom of his Halesowen home, an inquest heard.
Gardener Andrew Buttery, aged 56, had been on anti-depressants but would not open up to his GP about the cause of his mental ill health.
After discussing possibly taking his own life, GP Dr Francesc Coll, from the Meadowbrook Surgery, contacted the borough’s mental health services.
But Mr Buttery, of Windsor Road, was still waiting for an appointment with staff at the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) when he died.
Mental health nurse Dennis Capewell from the Early Access Service, told yesterday’s inquest was seen on February 20 last year for assessment and was discharged back to his GP for treatment and referral to IAPT for an anxiety management course and counselling.
He had returned on April 18 with his wife and both were “distressed” said Mr Capewell being frustrated at the delay in seeing IAPT and that his anti-depressants were ineffective.
The following day Mr Buttery called mental health nurse Angela Bench at the Crisis Resolution and Treatment Service for help.
She said his mood was low and she wanted him to have a face-to-face assessment, which he could have anytime over the weekend at Russells Hall Hospital’s accident and emergency department.
But he did not go and died on Tuesday April 23.
Dr Coll had seen Mr Buttery several times from January 17 2013 and had first advised counselling, but he wanted medication and anti-depressants were prescribed.
He explained to the inquest that medication could take several weeks before the patient started to see an improvement, but by March 19 he seemed “more cheerful”.
Dr Coll said Mr Buttery, who had suffered from Hodgkins Lymphona as a youth, would not open up to him about his anxiety.
But the GP added: “He said he had thoughts about previous relationships in his youth that came back into his mind.”
On April 19 he told the doctor he did not think his medication was helping which was when he advised him to contact the crisis service.
Dr Coll told the inquest that delays in being seen by Dudley’s secondary mental health services was a “common occurrence”.
Black Country coroner Robin Balmain concluded that Mr Buttery killed himself adding that the GP’s behaviour was “exemplary” and the delays in accessing services were “regrettable”.