HEALTHCARE bosses have issued a "heartfelt apology" following the death of a Kingswinford dad who took his own life after escaping from Bushey Fields Hospital in Dudley.

David Wright, aged 52, of Tunstall Road, voluntarily checked into the psychiatric hospital on September 2, 2019, after he reported hearing voices and having suicidal thoughts and the following day he was sectioned.

Shortly after he was granted section 17 leave under the Mental Health Act on the proviso he would be escorted at all times.

But a week later, on September 9, Liverpool-born Mr Wright absconded from the hospital and was found hanged at his home only a couple of hours later.

The Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, has issued an apology to Mr Wright's family and friends following the conclusion of a four-day jury inquest into his death held at the Black Country Coroner's Court, before area coroner Joanne Lees, which concluded yesterday (Monday October 26).

Following the inquest, at which a narrative conclusion was reached, a spokesman for the Trust said: “We would like to reiterate our heartfelt apology to the family and friends of David Wright for the fact he was able to leave Bushey Fields Hospital and was later found deceased at his home address. The standards of care that we expect to provide were clearly not met on this occasion.

“The events which led up to Dave being able to leave the hospital have been thoroughly investigated by an independent investigator who was commissioned by the Trust, and this has provided us with an in-depth report including recommendations which we have fully taken on board and already started to implement.

“We are committed to learning from this tragic incident and we have a detailed action plan in place to ensure that improvements are made and learning is embedded. This includes strengthening our policies and procedures and delivering enhanced training for our staff.

“Once again, we offer our sincere condolences to all those who knew and love Dave.”

Denise Norton, who was separated from Mr Wright as a result of his mental health needs but remained legally married and in regular contact, said after the inquest: “It is reassuring to know that a formal inquiry into his death has validated the concerns I had all along about the standard of care Dave received.

“It is impossible to put into words how losing Dave has impacted me. It has been devastating and I have found it really difficult to cope with what happened to him.

“We were together for 30 years and I thought I would have another 20 years with him, but it was not meant to be. I am now faced with trying to process his loss as nothing can bring him back.

“On September 9, 2019, the very people employed to protect him let him down in the most fundamental and profound way. I trusted the NHS to look after him and I fully expected to see him again.

“I am struggling to see a world that does not have Dave in it. He was the most kind and generous person I have ever known and likely ever will know. I miss my soulmate.”

Inquest specialist and senior associate and solicitor Baishali Clayton and paralegal Shrdha Kapoor, from law firm Nelsons, have been assisting Ms Norton since her husband’s death – with barrister Rachel Young, of Ropewalk Chambers, representing the family in court during the hearing.

Ms Clayton said Mr Wright had been "let down in the most devastating and shocking way by the very people and systems that were there to protect his life" and she added: "While it is appreciated the trust has since implemented measures so that no other family has to suffer the heartache Mr Wright’s family has endured, the inquest has simply highlighted the catastrophic failures that led to his death in this case."

If you are struggling to cope the Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. People can call 116 123 or email Samaritans at for support.