Family says GP's death avoidable

Old County Hall

Old County Hall

First published in News

THE family of a retired GP whose body was found in the Thames said his death could have been avoided if he had received the right care.

Richard Barnett’s wife and three children believe he should not have been allowed to return home so soon after he was sectioned having been deemed a “high risk” of suicide, an inquest heard.

The 70-year-old went missing on Friday, January 24. His body was then discovered off Wharf Road, Shillingford, on Friday, February 28, Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court was told on Wednesday.

A post-mortem examination said he died from drowning and “cold water immersion”.

Mr Barnett, who worked at The Manor Surgery in Headington from 1974- 2008, spent five days in Littlemore Hospital after being sectioned, but was discharged by consultant psychiatrist Dr Robert Chaplin because he did not feel it helped him, the inquest heard.

Dr Chaplin said Mr Barnett, of Baldon Lane, Marsh Baldon, was a “moderate risk” of suicide.

Assistant coroner Nicholas Graham ruled the death as suicide.

He said: “I think there are different and difficult balancing exercises to talk about whether someone should remain in hospital or be allowed to be discharged home.”

He said he did not see any reason for an investigation into Mr Barnett’s care.

A statement prepared by his family, wife Lucy and three children, said: “We feel that if he had received appropriate and adequate care this tragic outcome might have been avoided.”

Top News

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

One in three children in parts of Oxford are living in poverty, says charity

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 30th October 2014

ONE in three children are living in poverty in areas of the city, a charity has found.

UPDATE: Road reopens after car overturns in Heyford Road, Middleton Stoney

Oxford Mail: Ambulance stock image

10:12am Thursday 30th October 2014

A woman has been taken to hospital following a crash in Middleton Stoney.

LONDON WELSH: Piri Weepu plays down injury concerns

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 30th October 2014

LONDON Welsh scrum half Piri Weepu yesterday played down concerns about the ankle injury that has left his right foot in a protective boot.

More than 40 Oxford buildings to get free wi-fi

Oxford Mail: Oxford Ice Rink

9:30am Thursday 30th October 2014

ART galleries, civic buildings and even Oxford Ice Rink will soon have free wi-fi thanks to government investment.

London Welsh scrum on down for a bit of action at Oxford's Radcliffe Camera

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 30th October 2014

LONDON Welsh rugby players are well known for their big hits on opponents in the Aviva Premiership, but yesterday they were the big hits as they took the Big City Scrum to the streets of Oxford.

Bishop of Oxford's farewell eucharist

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Thursday 30th October 2014

A farewell eucharist will be held today at Christ Church cathedral for the retiring Bishop of Oxford.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree