A GRIEVING father is stepping up his campaign for improvements in mental health assessments following the death of his son, who despite multiple suicide attempts was considered by hospital staff not to be a suicide risk.

Richard Bellerby, from Aldwark, Hambleton, launched the campaign after his son Andrew, who at the time was living in Sheffield, took his own life on July 10, 2015, aged 35, less than 48 hours after being taken to hospital by ambulance in a suicidal state.

On admission to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, he was risk assessed by un-trained nurses using their Crisis Triage Rating Scale (CTRS) and deemed fit to be discharged.

An inquest in October 2015 identified numerous missed opportunities to provide Andrew with psychiatric help.

Following his son’s death, Mr Bellerby, 73, instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his son’s care, as a result of which his legal team subsequently secured an out of court settlement for Mr Bellerby and also received an apology from the health trust.

Mr Bellerby has spent the last three-and-a-half years campaigning for all 85 mental health trusts in the country to use a standard, independently verified triage tool for assessing suicide risk. He also wants to ensure that national guidelines are adhered to so that all NHS clinicians are fully trained before assessing suicide risk and making “life or death decisions”.

Mr Bellerby feared that other mental health trusts might be using the same or similar assessment tools to the CTRS and so he began investigating the use of suicide assessment tools throughout the NHS.

He has also been working closely with mental health MIND and his MP Kevin Hollinrake, who has now secured a debate in the House of Commons on the issue which will take place on September 4 at 4pm.

Richard said: “Nothing will ever bring Andrew back, but I want to ensure changes are made so that no-one else has to lose their life needlessly.

“By bringing my campaign to Parliament, I am hoping it will raise the understanding of this problem and generate legislation to improve mental health care as a whole and in particular suicide prevention.”

Kevin Hollinrake MP said: “Since their tragic loss, the Bellerby family have worked tirelessly to do everything they can to make sure others to not suffer the same fate.

“It has been my pleasure to support their efforts and we shall continue to campaign for change until appropriate processes and procedures are put in place to prevent further tragic suicides.”