Inquest for 'extremely vulnerable' dad-of-two found dead on hospital roof after being discharged

20 February 2022, 14:39 | Updated: 20 February 2022, 14:58

Stephen McManus died at Charing Cross hospital in 2018
Stephen McManus died at Charing Cross hospital in 2018. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

An inquest is set to begin into the death of an "extremely vulnerable" father-of-two who was found dead on the roof of a London hospital shortly after being discharged.

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Type 1 diabetes patient Stephen McManus, 60, was found on the roof of Charing Cross Hospital in 2018.

He was brought to the west London hospital in an ambulance on September 4 suffering a hypoglycaemic episode - when a person's blood sugar level falls dangerously low.

But it is alleged that, despite the fact he was slurring his words and behaving erratically, a junior doctor decided the former civil servant was able to go home - against the advice of a consultant.

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Wearing slippers and with no phone and no money, he is said to have been escorted outside by security guards.

His family were not contacted to tell them he had been discharged.

He later went back into the building and found his way to the roof via a construction area.

His family reported him missing and he was found dead on the roof the following day.

The former civil servant was found on the roof of the west London hospital
The former civil servant was found on the roof of the west London hospital. Picture: Alamy

Mr McManus' son, Jonathan McManus, said his father's treatment in the hospital was "inexplicable" and was the reason he was not "alive today".

"My father was an extremely vulnerable patient and the nature of his removal from the hospital is inexplicable," he told The Telegraph.

"Had he been kept in hospital he would no doubt be alive today."

The inquest at West London Coroner’s Court, beginning on Monday, will try to establish why Mr McManus was allowed to leave and how he was able to get to the roof through a potentially hazardous part of the hospital.

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Paul McNeil, head of medical negligence at Fieldfisher, the law firm acting for the family, said that the inquest would likely run for four days because of the number of potentially responsible parties involved.

"Type 1 diabetes is a complex disease which Mr McManus dealt with his entire adult life," he said.

"Given the prevalence of diabetes, one would expect any Accident and Emergency ward to be able to safeguard and properly manage diabetic patients suffering from hypoglycaemia.

"The Coroner has made it clear he will ask those responsible what they should have done differently to have prevented Mr McManus's tragic death."

Professor Julian Redhead, medical director at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said: "We have accepted the significant shortcomings in our care and treatment of Mr McManus and have expressed our sincere regret and condolences to his family.

"We have undertaken our own review of what happened to help prevent similar incidents in the future and we are engaging fully in the inquest."