NI Inquest Told Of Psychiatric Bed Shortage

An inquest has heard how a suicidal man took his own life two days after being sent home from hospital because no psychiatric beds were available anywhere in Northern Ireland.

43-year-old Steven McAdam was assessed in the emergency department of Craigavon Area Hospital as being a danger to himself.

Doctors told his family to take him home and not to leave him alone.

His family did as told, but less than 48 hours later, Mr McAdam slipped out of the back door of his home in Bangor, Co Down. He went to Donaghadee Harbour where he drove along the pier and into the water.

An eye-witness said that before accelerating to his death in the water, Mr McAdam threw his driving licence onto the pier. It was later used by police to identify him.

Cathy McAdam, the dead man’s sister-in-law, told the inquest that with hindsight she should have wrecked the casualty department of the hospital in order to get attention.

She said her advice to others was, ‘don’t be polite, don’t be nice because it gets you nowhere’.

Mr McAdam had played for the English league club Burnley.