A CANCER-survivor with a history of drug use may not have been searched when he reentered a mental health facility the day before his death, an inquest has heard.

Paramedics were called to Littlemore Mental Health Centre on April 21, 2018, after Jeffrey Sean Byrne, who was known by his middle name, was found on the floor of his room in cardiac arrest.

Despite CPR from staff and paramedics he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Assistant coroner for Oxfordshire Sonia Hayes read statements from those who treated the 51-year-old as a jury inquest began into his death yesterday.

Staff nurse Rejoice Muzila, who was regularly the nurse in charge of Mr Byrne's ward, gave evidence in person.

She said he had a known problem with alcohol and drugs and there had been an incident where paramedics had to be called a month before his death when he was on another ward.

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Ms Muzila, however, said despite this and being sectioned due to a criminal offence, he had been about to be released and was 'very disappointed' when a medical tribunal set to officially approve the decision had to be cancelled on April 18, 2017.

She said Mr Byrne was also allowed unsupervised outings twice a day, each lasting two hours, and his last one had been the day before he died.

Ms Hayes questioned the nurse about forms that were required when he reentered the facility, including confirmation that a search for drugs and other contraband items had been carried out by staff.

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She said: “I have seen documents that don’t say that he was searched.”

The nurse responded: “The document does not clarify he was searched but he would have been searched.”

But Ms Hayes, pointing out all staff had to do was tick a box and sign it, said: “You can’t tell me he was searched, you weren’t there.”

Ms Muzila said things had changed at the Littlemore centre because of Mr Byrne's case and more robust checks were now done of forms at the end of each shift.

The jury also heard a statement from Dr Andrew Peniket, a consultant at the Churchill Hospital, who talked about treatment Mr Byrne had been receiving for leukaemia, which he was first diagnosed with in January 2017, having gone into remission and then relapsing.

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Dr Peniket said it was 'not possible' his death was due to the cancer and it ‘seems unlikely’ his treatment for the disease was behind the cardiac arrest as they did heart checks after each session, the last of which was on March 29.

The jury heard Mr Byrne, who had ‘emotionally unstable personality disorder’, was transferred to the centre after he checked himself out of the Churchill in November 2017 and then came to the John Radcliffe's emergency department the following day being 'verbally abusive' to staff.

The inquest continues.