Grieving father from Yorkshire's campaign after son's suicide to be debated in Parliament

Andrew Bellerby, who took his own life in 2015 at the age of 35. His father Richard has campaigned over the use of suicide assessment tools since and the issue is now to be debated in the House of Comments after MP Kevin Hollinrake secured a debate. Family image.
Andrew Bellerby, who took his own life in 2015 at the age of 35. His father Richard has campaigned over the use of suicide assessment tools since and the issue is now to be debated in the House of Comments after MP Kevin Hollinrake secured a debate. Family image.

A grieving father’s campaign over suicide assessments after the loss of his son is to see a debate in the House of Commons.

Andrew Bellerby took his own life in 2015 at the age 35, less than 48 hours after he was taken to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital by ambulance in a suicidal state.

Andrew Bellerby, assessed by untrained nurses, was deemed fit to be sent home before just 48 hours before he took his own life. Family image.

Andrew Bellerby, assessed by untrained nurses, was deemed fit to be sent home before just 48 hours before he took his own life. Family image.

After been risk assessed by untrained nurses, he was deemed fit to be sent home and an inquest later found there were missed opportunities to provide psychiatric help.

His 73-year-old father Richard, from Aldwark in North Yorkshire, has fought tirelessly since, securing an apology and out of court of settlement from Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust after appointing solicitors Irwin Mitchell.

For three years he has campaigned for all 85 mental health trusts in the country to use an independent triage tool to assess risk, and ensure guidelines are met over training for clinicians.

Sheffield Trust did change its use of assessments, but Mr Bellerby’s research, alongside Manchester University, found inconsistencies nationwide.

Now MP Kevin Hollinrake, representing Thirsk and Malton, has secured a House of Commons debate on September 4 over the use of suicide risk assessment tools.

“Nothing will ever bring Andrew back, but I want to ensure that lessons are learned and changes are made so that no-one else has to lose their life needlessly,” said Mr Bellerby.

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

Mr Hollinrake 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.”