Inquest into the death of Brendan McFarlane

November 7, 2023

Laura Nash acted for the family of Brendan McFarlane who died less than 24 hours after being admitted to The Harbour mental health hospital in Blackpool on 25th October 2022. Brendan should have been under constant supervision from staff, however, CCTV footage revealed that he was only observed for a total of 2 minutes and 54 seconds out of a 59-minute period while staff were seen plaiting each other’s hair, vaping, and checking social media on their mobile phones. During this time Brendan was able to take his own life using an item that staff had failed to take from him on his arrival at the hospital.

The inquest jury concluded that Brendan died as a result of misadventure, contributed to by neglect, and that “on the balance of probabilities, the care delivery more than minimally contributed to Bren’s death”.

More information on the case can be found on the Stephensons’ website. The case also received widespread press coverage including on BBC NewsITV NewsThe Mirror, The Daily Mail and Manchester Evening News.