Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust policy called into question following death of Josh Sahota at Wedgwood House in Bury St Edmunds
An NHS trust's now defunct policy on prohibited items at one of its mental health units has been called into question following the death of a 25-year-old man, an inquest heard.
Josh Sahota, of Danehill Road, Kennett, was found in his room by staff at the Wedgwood House mental health unit in Bury St Edmunds on September 9, 2019, with a plastic bag around his head.
Members of staff who were on shift on September 9, 2019, were called to speak during an inquest at Suffolk Coroner's Court earlier today.
Belinda Warby, a nurse on Northgate Ward, where Mr Sahota was based, told the Ipswich-based court how the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's policy classed plastic bags as restricted, but not prohibited, two years ago.
This left deciding whether to allow plastic bags in patients' rooms up to staff discretion.
The rule has since changed and plastic bags are now classed as prohibited.
Mrs Warby, alongside Sarah Brazkiewics, a clinical support worker who was also present at the time of the incident and gave evidence today, explained to the court how allowing a bag to stay in Mr Sahota's room would have been 'unusual' and not 'best practice'.
It came after Lidiwe Javani, the lead consultant psychiatrist on Northgate Ward on September 9, 2019, told the court today her and colleagues believed Mr Sahota's mental health was improving in the days up to his death.
Addressing questions from Hannah Noyce, counsel for Mr Sahota's father, Malk Sahota, Dr Javani said Mr Sahota had been taking regular day trips with family, was engaging with staff and generally seemed positive.
She added medication he was taking for his psychosis had been increased after it had provoked a positive outcome.
The court also heard how on the evening Mr Sahota was found, the team at Wedgwood House was two staff members short. There were due to be three clinical support workers on shift, but there was only one.
Earlier hearings heard how Mr Sahota had developed psychosis after an incident while on holiday in Lanzarote in August 2019 in which he had overheard a mixed race couple making racist comments.
The inquest was told he suddenly became paranoid about his security.
Mr Sahota returned to his home in Kennett on August 2, but later that evening drove his Vauxhall Corsa off of the A11 bridge just outside Newmarket plunging on to the A14 below.
Mr Sahota was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where he received treatment for his injuries which included partial collapse of his lungs, a fractured pelvis, and several rib fractures.
He was then transferred to Wedgwood House on August 9, where he stayed until his death.
The inquest continues.