The father of a mental patient, who jumped in front of a train after walking out of a secure unit, has accused doctors of failing his son.

Speaking at the inquest into Aaron Greenidge’s death, dad Anthony told of his frustration that his 22-year-old son was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital, in Roehampton, 13 times in three-and-a-half years while he was being treated for paranoid schizophrenia.

Mr Greenidge said Aaron, who suffered from psychiatric episodes during which he could hear trains talking to him, should have been kept in hospital so doctors could better monitor his condition and medication.

At Westminster Coroner’s Court on Thursday, he said: “It does not make sense to me man, I put my trust in them.

“How could he be getting sufficient therapy when he was always in and out? The admissions were too quick.”

Aaron, of Boundaries Road, Balham, died on April 9, last year, after he slipped away from staff while being transferred between Laurel and Lavender open wards and later jumped in front of a Tube train at Tooting Broadway station. He had previously been detained under the Mental health Act.

He died hours later at St George’s Hospital, in Tooting, of multiple injuries.

Mr Greenidge questioned why his son was not better looked after, particularly because a proposal to move Aaron from his housing association flat, which was close to a railway line, was making him stressed and confused.

He said: “I don’t understand why no one was able to catch up with him to stop him from leaving, failing that I don’t see why they could not have locked the doors.”

Aaron’s aunt, Sonya Skinner, told the court her nephew phoned her up when he had an episode and said “oh, the trains are talking to me”.

She added: “He realised that he was ill and was trying to work it out.”

Aaron’s consultant psychiatrist, Mary Howlett, admitted 13 admissions in less than four years was “a high number” but said it was “not unusual”.

Dr Howlett, who acknowledged Aaron was “at high risk of harming himself”, put the frequency down to Aaron’s tendency to improve quickly but then suffer from “quite frequent” relapses.

She suggested this could have been due to non-compliance with medication, cannabis or alcohol consumption and stress.

Deputy coroner, Shirley Radcliffe, recorded a narrative verdict last Friday.

In a two month period before Aaron’s death, two mentally ill men escaped from Springfield hospital in separate incidents. The string of incidents prompted the Wandsworth Guardian to call for an independent inquiry into the borough’s mental health facilities.

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