Health bosses let dad down, claim

THE family of a young Hebden Bridge dad who died weeks after trying to overdose on prescription drugs, say health bosses let him down.

Scott Hallam, 26, of Fairfield, Hebden Bridge, was taken to hospital after being found unconscious with cuts on his arm in Pellon Lane, Halifax.

Family members begged doctors to section him for his own good but Mr Hallam, who had two children, was released.

Twelve days later he turned up at the home of a friend, Robert Hind of Bankfield Terrace, Mytholmroyd.

A statement by Mr Hind was read out at an inquest at Halifax Town Hall. It said: "He turned up at my door in a drunk state and his speech was very slurred.

"He said he had nowhere to go and I agreed to take him in because I didn't want him to try to take his own life again.

"I gave him a coffee, made him a sandwich and he asked for a hug."

Mr Hind went to bed leaving him sleeping on a sofa. When he came down the next day, Mr Hallam was dead.

A toxicology report found three types of anti-depressants in his bloodstream, as well as alcohol levels three times the legal limit.

Angie Birks, Mr Hallam's 44-year-old sister, told the inq-uest: "We feel he has been dramatically let down by the NHS.

"He looked desperate the night he overdosed and I pleaded with the hospital to section him, but nobody could see the urgency."

Coroner Roger Whittaker recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Speaking outside Mrs Birks said: "Scott had a tragic life, his mum, dad and two brothers had died and the drink was his way of coping.

"But he never got the care he needed.

"If anything comes out of this we want people who have drink and depression problems to be treated as a whole person.

"He was a good man and we will miss him very much."