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Last Updated:  Thursday, 6 March, 2003, 12:14 GMT
Public inquiry into clinic death
David Bennett
David Bennett, a patient at the Norvic Clinic, died four years ago
A public inquiry is being held more than four years after the death of a patient held in a secure psychiatric unit in Norfolk.

David Bennett, 38, who was known as Rocky, of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, died after beng restrained by staff at the Norvic Clinic in Norwich, in October 1998.

An inquest into his death two years ago returned a verdict of accidental death, aggravated by neglect.

Mr Bennett 's heart stopped after he was restrained by at least three nurses for allegedly attacking a fellow patient and punching a member of the clinic staff. He died later in hospital.

The inquest heard Mr Bennett became schizophrenic in his early 20s and spent much of the remainder of his life in psychiatric units.

Inappropriate restraint procedures

Jurors were told that inappropriate restraint procedures had been used.

Coroner William Armstrong said it was a tragedy that should not have occurred.

"The circumstances of this matter do highlight a number of issues which need to be addressed," he said.

Mr Bennett's family, including his sister Dr Joanna Bennett, who lectures on the care of psychiatric patients, began campaigning for an inquiry soon after his death.

Wider mental health issues

The first part of the inquiry, which concentrated on the care, treatment and death of Mr Bennett, has already been held in private.

The public hearing will deal with wider mental health issues.

Sir John Blofeld, who will chair the inquiry panel, said it was important to try to give guidance on the treatment of mentally ill patients, particularly those from black and ethnic minorities.

The inquiry will begin on Teusday 18 March in London.




SEE ALSO:
Mental health patient found
29 Jan 03 |  England


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