Health officials apologise for stalled investigation into death

LOSS: Geoff Booth has received an apology from the CDHB about the death of his son 21-year-old son Liam Booth. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER

Health officials have apologised to grieving father Geoff Booth over the stalled investigation into the death of his son Liam.

Mr Booth laid a complaint with the Canterbury District Health Board after his 21-year-old son died of suspected suicide in October.

He is questioning whether Liam received the necessary help in the weeks leading up to when his son was found dead in Beckenham Park near his flat.

Last week Mr Booth contacted the CDHB without success to find out how the investigation was progressing.

The Star then put formal questions into the CDHB also asking about the investigation.

LOSS: Health officials have apologised to Geoff Booth and his family over the stalled investigation into the death of his son Liam.

The following day (Wednesday), a CDHB family adviser phoned Mr Booth saying there was no record of the complaint made in October.

He received a written apology on Wednesday evening.

Before then, Mr Booth said he had no communication from the CDHB since a meeting with key clinical managers in October.

He met with managers last year to be informed there would be an internal review of Liam’s care along with a review from the Coroner.

The review of Liam’s death is still active before the Coroner.

Mr Booth said he was concerned about Liam’s case and questioned who else the CDHB could have let down.

“Who else have they let down? Who else is waiting on something?” Mr Booth said.

Mental Health Services acting general manager Barbara Wilson said the CDHB wished to sincerely apologise to Mr Booth for the lack of acknowledgement of his complaint into Liam’s care when he was brought to its emergency department in September.

She said the CDHB received Mr Booth’s complaint on October 11.

“We can assure Mr Booth that the points raised in his complaint will also be addressed in the Serious Event Review,” Ms Wilson said.

The Serious Event Review is the CDHB’s process when there has been a serious adverse event to identify opportunities to improve its systems and processes.

A family adviser will be in communication with Mr Booth and Liam’s family to provide updates on the progress of the review.

Eighteen days before before his death, Liam had threatened to harm himself at Halswell Quarry Park. Liam was taken to Christchurch Hospital for assessment before he was discharged.

Mr Booth has since told the CDHB that hospital staff had wrongly discharged Liam and taken his word he was not going to harm himself.

LOSS: Health officials have apologised to Geoff Booth and his family over the stalled investigation into the death of his son Liam.

PHOTO: Martin Hunter

BELOVED: Liam Booth, 21, was found dead at Beckenham Park last month.

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