Sister of Sean Rigg "let down" by health trust
The sister of a schizophrenia patient who died in police custody said she felt "let down" by the health trust in charge of his care.
Marcia Rigg-Samuel was invited to speak at a health and adult services scrutiny committee meeting held at Lambeth Town Hall last night, following an inquest into Sean Rigg's death in August this year.
Mr Rigg, 40, was arrested after attacking members of the public with karate-style moves, in Weir Road, Balham, on August 21, 2008.
He was bundled into the back of a police van and taken to Brixton Police Station, where he died shortly afterwards of a cardiac arrest.
A jury inquest, at Southwark Coroner's Court this summer, found the South London and Maudsley Trust (SLaM), who was in charge of Mr Rigg's care, more than minimally contributed to his death.
It was discovered he had not taken his medication for about seven weeks prior to his arrest, and there was a delay in assessing him under the Mental Health Act (MHA).
Ms Rigg-Samuel, of Tooting, said: "In the past I had a 20 year relationship working with my brother's mental care team SLaM. Over the years it was pretty difficult sometimes.
"What was more alarming - he was two months overdue his medication. I am angry his care team didn't call me."
Jill Lockett, speaking on behalf of SLaM, said : "When he was well he was incredibly well, he was able to return to positive and have a creative life.
"We should have spotted he was off his medication. We thought we had more time, and for that I apologise."
A report submitted to the council by SLaM said they had improved a zoning system used to identify patients suffering from relapse.
Mental health nurses have also been placed at Battersea and Lambeth police stations in a pilot project, while partnerships have been set up with Black Mental Health UK.
Councillor Edward Davie, who chaired the meeting, said Lambeth council were setting up a health and well being board meeting next year in response to the inquest finding.
He said: "I think it is important to not have these tragic occasions occur. If for no other reason I think it puts off other young black men from accessing the services."
Ms Rigg-Samuel and Matilda MacAttram, director of Black Mental Health UK, have been invited to speak at the full council meeting on November 21.