Family want probe widened


THE family of suicide victim Neil Marcial (right) wants WA Coroner Alistair Hope to include him in an investigation into deaths at the Alma Street mental health unit in 2011 and 2012.

The Herald revealed last week the coroner was looking into five deaths despite the state’s chief psychiatrist already ‘reviewing’ three in 2011 (‘Coroner probes Alma suicides’, January 19, 2013).

Mr Marcial’s family says they want his death included because it included the “common elements” the coroner was looking for before deciding to hold a “multiple death inquest” similar to the existing Graylands probe into nine deaths.

Mr Marcial’s death was not reviewed by chief psychiatrist Rowan Davidson because it fell outside his time frame.

His sister Patricia told the Herald the original coroner’s report into his death raised questions about his treatment by Alma Street.

Booked in for a referral, he was advised to contact Fremantle hospital’s triage if any issues arose in the meantime.

Mr Marcial did contact triage trying to get help, but when Alma Street tried to call him back, his phone rang out. So they sent him a letter.

“Why did they not call the family?” his sister now asks.

“Neil would still be alive.”

Fremantle hospital files and statements from nursing staff who have relocated since the deaths form part of the coroner’s enquiries.

The Herald understands his office is close to wrapping up its investigation, with a few clinicians still to be interviewed.

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