Grieving Wigan dad died four years after suffering serious brain injury in suicide bid

A Wigan dad who struggled to cope after the death of his son and breakdown of his marriage suffered a “catastrophic” brain injury when he tried to end his life, an inquest heard.
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HGV driver Anthony Entwistle was described as a “popular” man, who was “very funny” and “well-liked”.

But Bolton Coroner’s Court heard he went on a “depressive spiral” and turned to alcohol when his relationship ended 12 years ago.

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He also struggled to cope with the death of his three-year-old son from a rare genetic disorder.

Anthony EntwistleAnthony Entwistle
Anthony Entwistle
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Mr Entwistle sought support from his GP, requesting a referral for counselling as long ago as June 2007 and then help for anxiety in July 2010.

He called police in September 2017, while under the influence of alcohol, to report he had suicidal thoughts, as he mourned his son and had other stressors.

But he said it was a “cry for help”, citing his children, partner and dog as protective factors, and he was discharged to his GP.

A similar call was made 12 days later, the inquest heard.

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Mr Entwistle started attending joint appointments with mental health services and drug and alcohol misuse service Addaction in spring 2018, when he reported drinking 20 cans of lager each day as a coping strategy.

The inquest heard he wanted to become abstinent and engaged with services, but he appeared to make little progress, continuing to drink and struggling with his mental health.

In April 2018 he was detained under the Mental Health Act after speaking about wanting to end his life.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Fareeba Anwar told the inquest his family reported he had gone missing several times and his partner said he spoke of not wanting to be alive, but Mr Entwistle denied this. He was discharged to continue receiving support in the community.

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He was seen again in July 2018, after his family raised concerns with the police when he expressed suicidal thoughts.

He was assessed and said he felt suicidal as it was the anniversary of his son’s death, but again described it as a “cry for help”.

But in August 2018 he tried to end his life by hanging. He was resuscitated by paramedics, but suffered a hypoxic brain injury

It led to him receiving round-the-clock care at Carrington Court care home in Hindley, as he used a tracheostomy to breathe, was fed through a peg and had epilepsy.

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He developed cellulitis in his arm and then a chest infection in December, which led to him being admitted to Wigan Infirmary.

Despite receiving treatment, his condition deteriorated and he died on December 27, aged 46.

Coroner Alexander Frodsham recorded Mr Entwistle died “as a result of pneumonia following a hypoxic brain injury which he had suffered approximately four years earlier.”

He did not issue a report to prevent future deaths, after hearing about changes made to mental health care in Wigan since 2018 from Helen Eckersley, matron for community services at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

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This included a different organisation now providing services, a streaming area for patients with mental health issues in Wigan Infirmary’s A&E department and a new IT system which can send letters to GPs quickly, after letters were not sent to Mr Entwistle’s GP after two mental health assessments.

If you need to talk to someone, call Samaritans at any time on 116 123.